Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Big Vote

While Mexico's elections grabbed the headlines, Lydia Polgreen of the New York Times ventured to Goma in the usually ignored country of Congo to cover the most expensive election in African history. Her "Congo Nears Historic Election, Praying for Peace" vividly portrays what the ballot means to a war-ravaged country that last held free elections in 1965 and has only 300 miles of paved roads. I'm impressed with how Polgreen uses verbs to show us a place few of us will ever visit. For example, she describes a reverend's drawing of Congo's history this way:

"In the picture, vultures ferry diamonds, gold and cobalt out of Congo and carry machine guns and tanks in. Greedy bureaucrats gobble stacks of tax dollars, and soldiers clobber civilians."

Photographer Lynsey Addario's beautiful slide show gives us a close-up view of what the election means to Congo's people.


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