‘I have seen Marek Stawski at work in the capital Kinshasa, as well as in Kisangani, the city at the bend in the river Congo, and in remote places like Lodja and Dikungu in the Kasaï. He’s always at ease, immediately catching the bubbling energy that makes the Congolese – even at the lowest moment in their history – a wonderful people to be with. Is it because, like the Polish writer Ryszard Kapuscinski, Stawski comes from a country without a colonial past? There is no barrier between him and the Congolese, he bears no burden, and as people in distraught societies often have a great psychological sensitivity, they feel this and react to it by looking at him as though looking into a mirror.’

Lieve Joris, author of Back to the Congo, Macmillan, London, 1992