Animation celluloid from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
No Others Options: Hamida, a Congolese Sex Worker
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO. GOMA. December 11, 2013. Hamida, 26, is a sex worker living in the Benghazi neighborhood.
During the Congo wars these past two decades, involving dozens of armed groups, and in an economy that largely relies on aid from the UN and NGO’s, some women, such as Hamida, who has four children, become somewhat forced to prostitute themselves in order to survive.
Hamida, 26, is a sex worker living in Benghazi, a neighborhood in the city of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.). She moved there in 2002, when nearby volcano Mount Nyiragongo erupted and destroyed her home in Berere. Benghazi, a slum of wooden shacks built atop lava rock, was named after the city of Benghazi, the Revolutionary base during the Libyan Civil War, as it is a place of “fighting and crying.” Many residents are prostitutes and their families. Upon arrival, she roomed with other sex workers to save money. She now has two rooms and pays $30 per month.
In 2000, when Hamida was 13, she went to the airport looking for water and was kidnapped by a FARDC soldier, who held and raped Hamida at a FARDC base for six months, calling her his “wife.” Hamida could not leave the base and though she did not have to cook or shop she was required to sleep with the soldier everyday. Her mother looked for her but received no answers until the soldier was sent home to Kinshasa and Hamida was set free. Shortly after, some sex workers learned of Hamida’s experience and gave her small things like clothing and brought her to nightclubs and found men for her, though Hamida was given no money. Eventually the women gave her money and Hamida would give it to her mother.
Hamida has four children by four different men. Several of her clients are UN soldiers and one of them, a South African, fathered one of her children. Another father is also South African and two are Congolese. The Congolese do not come to see the children but the South Africans occasionally do. Her oldest, Israel, is 13. “I see many people who have riches, money and cars, but they have no children. To keep a newborn in my body for nine months is not expensive, and it is something I can do. I have the kind of body that God gives children to. Sometimes I have used nine months to wake up in the road, so having children is something I can do. I have never studied, so maybe these children will help me one day. Yes, I could kill a baby and have less responsibilities, but I am afraid of the God of my mother.”
Hamida occasionally attends the Pentecostal Sepac church with her children and mother, who works at the church. “I have to go to church, to hear the preaching and the singing. When I was young I sang in the church. I respect the God my mother prays to. My mother was a muslim and converted to Christianity. My father is still a Muslim and when she converted they began having problems. He stopped helping to support her, saying she had ‘become the wife of Jesus.’”
“I have a difficult life. I live this way because I have many problems to resolve. I have no education or opportunities to study, but one day if I can have a job I can improve my situation. If God gives me a man to marry and who supports my children, I can also be happy. Because no woman can receive so many men in this way and be happy, it is only out of necessity. In Congo we do not have many men, the many wars here killed them. So have many women and to stay married is difficult. Often if we marry the Congolese man, we have a child after six months or a year and then he leaves. Sometimes the South African men forgets you and his child but sometimes he has a good heart and sends money. When we ask the South African UN soldiers, who say they come here to give us peace, why we do not have peace they can not tell us why. Sometimes they just cry and ask us why there is no peace in Congo
Girls pose by a jail that recalls the witch trials of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. Photo taken in 1945.
I recently learned that the water in Salem was contaminated with the fungus from which LSD is derived and a legitimate theory for the whole thing is that everyone in the town was tripping balls
This might be the greatest thing ive ever seen on the internet
We did a whole massive thing on this in history. I believe the fungus in question is called Ergot and it’s terrifying. It makes your muscles spasm so when they had seizures that was the reason, not because they were possessed. One woman had to be strapped to her bed, she was seizing so bad. And, like ‘theybuildbuildings’ said, it had the same effects as LSD; as soon as you touch it, let alone consume it, it messes with your entire system. The worst thing is, you practically always had a bad trip. Many complained about bugs crawling under their skin or monsters emerging from the shadows to scratch and bite at them until they were screaming. It was a horrendous thing and the worst part is, Ergot is still around. It grows on crops and, if your wheat isn’t properly treated, it can be eaten and you’ll most likely experience the same as the women of Salem.
god i love history
This is hella cool and almost correct…
The effects on the people of Salem were probably from consuming bread with the fungus in it, not from contaminated water. And apparently rye is way more commonly affected than wheat. In fact, often the members of the clergy were able to afford nicer bread made from wheat and thus were not as commonly affected.
You don’t go on a spasm-y trip just by touching it. You have to consume it for weeks, which results in chronic poisoning. ( If you stop eating it early enough, you may recover. So when people suffering from these “demonic possessions” took refuge in churches and stopped eating low-grade rye bread they were sometimes miraculously healed.
More interesting facts:
Ergot poisoning can result in convulsions & hallucinations, or it can cause gangrene, depending on which group of active alkaloids are present. (Horrifying, either way.) It killed a lot of people in Europe in the Middle Ages.
In Europe, often there was a strong correlation between wet summers (which provide ideal conditions for ergot) and reports of witchcraft/ possession. And in Norway and Scotland, records of witch persecution are only found in areas where rye was grown and used to make bread.
And I just learned right now that one author dude translated the word “Beowulf” as “barley-wolf” which could indicate a connection to ergot. The LSD-like effects could be a valid explanation for stories of Old Norse warriors going into the a sort of trancelike battle rage.
(this is exactly the kind of stuff my
herbologymedicinal plants class is about, it’s so cool omfg. we had a lecture on ergot last week.)
A seven-year old boy from Cambodia has a rather unusual best friend. Koun Samang has been spending time with his python, which now weighs 18 stone, since he was born.
"My boy and the snake have been living very happily since he was born seven years ago. They are the same age," said Samang’s father Koun Samol.
The snake is named Chomran, which means “lucky” in Khmer. Samang spends his days playing with Chomran, hugging the snake and trying to teach it tricks. The snake “eats ten kilos of duck and chicken in one week”, Koun Samol said.
They are the same age and have hardly been separated in their whole lives. Most parents would be horrified to find their child curled up with such a creature but Samang’s father, from the Kandal province, is happy for his son to play with the six-metre-long reptile. Unlike most snakes in the area, Chomran does not eat rats or frogs, as its diet is similar to that of Samang. The whole Koun clan believe the snake has brought them good luck and they treat it like a member of the family. [ x ]
This is beautiful, look how happy the snake, and kid are!
non so se sia tutto vero o un mezzo fake ma è comunque troppo bella come cosa
Woman Opening Parasol (printed 1887) - Eadweard Muybridge, photographer.
See the complete book here.
Ying Yefu creates humorously macabre paintings using traditional Chinese techniques. See more on Hi-Fructose.
Maru is willing “Hana get out, Hana get out, Hana ge out!” Oh poor Hana!
Color Studies: Pink is a stunning photography series by Portland-based photographer Carissa Gallo, aiming to document her recent obsession with a multitude of muted colors.
Vincent van Gogh, detail of Wheatfield With a Reaper