A city of over one million people caught between volcanic eruptions and armed conflict, Goma has come to embody the 'tragedy' that is the Democratic Republic of Congo. Often portrayed by outsiders as a living hell, Goma is nevertheless a city of opportunity for others.
Drawing on a rich tapestry of personal narratives, from taxi driver to market trader, doctor to local humanitarian worker, Goma: Stories of Strength and Sorrow from Eastern Congo provides an engaging and unconventional portrait of an African city.
In contrast to the bleak pessimism which dominates much of the writing on Congo, Trefon and Kabuyaya instead emphasise the resilience, pragmatism and ingenuity which characterises so much of daily life in Goma. Resigned and hardened by struggle, the protagonists of the book give the impression that life is neither beautiful nor ugly, but an unending skirmish with destiny. In doing so, they offer startling insights into the social, cultural and political landscape of this unique city.