Kadir van Lohuizen
“In the 1990’s I did a number of photo-reportages during the fighting in Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of Congo), Sierra Leone and Angola, conflicts which were often dismissed as tribal wars, the final convulsions of the Cold War. By degrees, however, they increasingly became conflicts over raw materials. The diamond deposits were, for the most part, controlled by the Angolan and Sierra Leonean rebels, who used the gems as a means to buy weapons. Governments goi in on the act too and the terms blood diamond and conflict diamond were born. At the time I did a number of reportages on this subject, without however being able to picture the whole industry: both rebels and dealers were very suspicious.
A year ago I decided to return to the same African countries and follow the diamond trail from mine to ultimate consumer, in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa. This photo reportage examines the financing, working conditions, dealers and those who really profit from the industry”.
Kadir van Lohuizen, 2005