Mostly overlooked, the Central African Republic (CAR) has been
a vulnerable nation since gaining its independence from France in 1960. Systemic corruption and foreign meddling resulted in multiple coups. Chronic instability weakens the country, keeping it heavily dependent on foreign aid. Rich in natural resources, it nonetheless suffers from chronic underdevelopment. Lack of future prospects and hand grenades available in throve make many young men willing recruits for the militias. Isolated and victim of the world’s indifference, the country was ill equipped to handle the violence that began in late 2012, spreading throughout the country. Thousands have been killed and more than a quarter of the population has been displaced. Violence eased a bit recently, but the country remains on edge, with an uncertain future.
French documentary photographer William Daniels is the author of three books. Mauvais air (2008) reports on the devastating impact of malaria in Africa and Asia. Faded Tulips (2012) tells the story of a trip to Kyrgyzstan. RCA (2017) is the photographer’s understanding of the Centrafrican security and humanitarian crisis going on since 2013. A regular contributor to National Geographic, he has received two World Press Photo awards, one Visa d’Or from the Festival de Perpignan and the Tim Hetherington grant.