The Book

In “Congo Tales,” a new book about the
second-largest tropical forest in the world,
the story of a people and their home comes alive.
The New York Times Book Review

Known as the world’s second lung, the Congo Basin is the Earth’s other Amazon. Yet it falls far short of the Amazon when it comes to the world’s awareness of it as a major player in the global environment.

Our first project, Congo Tales, is intended to help solve this.

We spent 3 years working with people in the Mbomo district to record their mythologies, helping to reveal the wealth of the Congo Basin and its people.

Congo Tales illustrates both with fine art portrait photographer Pieter Henket’s cinematic portraiture of the Congolese depicting their legends, tales and lore under the canopy of ancient rainforest from which they sprang.

 

The Tale
So Far

Second only to the Amazon, the Congo Basin in Central Africa harbors around one fourth of the world’s rainforest. Comprising an area of 1.7 million km2, it is the second largest coherent rainforest region on earth.

Congo Tales is a revolutionary education and conservation project that uses storytelling to create an oral history of the Congo, through the eyes of children. By increasing awareness about the environment and empowering the creativity of individuals, this pwroject helps the adults of the future to share their stories across continents.

Congo Tales, Tales of Us children under the moon

Visibility

As a result of our commitment to Impact Producing, our initial focus for exposure will be within the Congo itself. Our goal is to give back to the people by igniting national heritage pride through exhibitions in local institutes and exhibition halls in various African countries.

We also have the great honor of being featured in the World Stage Exhibit at the Museum Barberini in Germany in June 2018. Our exhibition includes a photography retrospective, a short film based on the storytelling workshops, a customized soundscape experience of the Congo, virtual reality activities for children and much more.

In addition to the initial 3-month run of our exhibition in the Barberini, we are working closely with the academic community to develop interactive educational experiences. Once this work is completed, universities will be able to adapt the research and exhibit this work for wider exposure and development across Europe.

The Film

The Little Fish & The Crocodile

A fable from de Congolese rainforest

“An important film and great source of
inspiration for ways to preserve oral culture”

The New York Times

A film made by the kids of Sanza Mobimba & Bosco Ekany

Our team journeyed several times over 3 years to the Congo with a drawing and animation teacher, an education expert, the project’s producer and other researchers amongst others. Together we worked with local teachers on guiding children to draw from the elements of nature and create interesting characters with which to tell stories.

Over the course of several workshops facilitated specifically for the children of Mbomo, these remarkable kids progressed from initial character creation, to storytelling and development. By playing with and performing their own adaptation of a traditional story – “The Crocodile and the Fish” –a short film was born as a result of these workshops. This short film will serve as one of the main aspects of our project exhibition, film festivals and educational supplements.

+ info | crew list

watch the trailer

Important
Dates

Upcoming
Events

Opening Exhibition at Museum Fundatie

Zwolle, The Netherlands
End: 05.01.20

2nd edition: National Book Launch in Republic of Congo

Republic of Congo

Past
Events

PBS Broadcast: Congo Tales

Boston, USA

Christie’s Auction: Congo Tales Photo Prints

Portdam, Germany

US Book Launch at Rizzoli NY

New York, USA

Our Team CONGO TALES

Stefanie Plattner, co-founder Tales of Us

Stefanie Plattner
Co-Founder

Stefanie Plattner, co-founder Tales of Us
Our Team | Tales of Us

Stefanie Plattner

Co-Founder

Stefanie Plattner worked as an actrice in theatre and films for many years before exploring facets of storytelling as a film producer. In 2012, she opened Storming Donkey Productions. With her newly founded company, she developed and realised the feature film Hordur, directed by Ekrem Ergun. Among the accolades received, this film was awarded with the prize for the best Children’s Film by the German Film Critics Association in 2015. Stefanie initiated and enabled the multimedia project Tales of Us out of the urge to support and give a voice to people in unsung places of our planet, such as the Congo Basin, through storytelling. With Storming Donkey Productions, she aspires to keep initiating and facilitating original projects that will create platforms for new talent.

Eva Vonk, co-founder Tales of Us

Eva Vonk
Executive Producer and Creative Director

Eva Vonk, co-founder Tales of Us
Our Team | Tales of Us

Eva Vonk

Executive Producer and Creative Director

Eva Vonk is the Executive Producer and Creative Director for Tales of Us. After having interned and worked at several major ad agencies in Amsterdam, including the BBDO Group, Eva studied at the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam and produced several music videos, commercials and short films in The Netherlands. She developed the concept for Congo Tales in 2013, and subsequently spent 3 years working closely with the people in the Mbomo District of the Congo Basin to curate and record their mythologies for the very first time. Eva also produced the award winning short film The Little Fish and the Crocodile, based on the Congolese myth of the same name.

Kovo N'sonde - Story Adaptation

Kovo N'sonde
Story Adaptation

Kovo N'sonde - Story Adaptation
Our Team | Tales of Us

Kovo N'sonde

Story Adaptation

Steve-Régis “Kovo” N’Sondé was born in the Parisian suburb. Le Mee-sur-Seine. He is an afropean performer and musician and has a doctorate in philosophy from Pantheon-Sorbonne University Associate. Kovo N’Sondé lives between Paris and Berlin and has been an active researcher at CIRECK (International Center for Research & Education on Koongo Civilization), Brazzaville. He has written on art and music for numerous publications, including Afrikadaa and Presence Africaine.

Pieter Henket, Photographer Congo Tales

Pieter Henket
Photographer

Pieter Henket, Photographer Congo Tales
Our Team | Tales of Us

Pieter Henket

Photographer

Pieter Henket developed his photographic art as a self-thought artist. He moved from The Netherlands to New York in 1998 where he quickly became a successful portraitist of well-known cultural and artistic icons. In 2010, his work was included in the American Womanexhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Bosco Ekany, Line Producer Congo Tales

Bosco Ekany
Line Producer

Bosco Ekany, Line Producer Congo Tales
Our Team | Tales of Us

Bosco Ekany

Line Producer

Bosco Ekany is a man of all trades. His company, Business Services, often functions as a bridge between the local communities and the key institutions active in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park area such as the Sabine Plattner African Charities (SPAC), The African Parks Network and the Congo Conservation Company (CCC) for whom he also provides advice and several structural services. To those in the Odzala region, he is a community activist who addresses the many challenges shared by neighbouring villages while attempting to foster connections.

Ani and Mouendet Ideme, researchers Congo Tales

Ani and Mouendet Ideme
Researchers

Ani and Mouendet Ideme, researchers Congo Tales
Our Team | Tales of Us

Ani and Mouendet Ideme

Researchers

Annie and Mouendet are partners in life and in work. In Mbomo, together with a small team, they take care of the Odzala FM radio station where Annie is the current director. As journalists, they disseminate Congolese news as well as report on the importance of conservation, health issues, and local culture throughout the area of the Odzala-Kokoua National Park. To gather their stories, they travel to nearby villages on motorcycle and also form a central point in Mbomo where the local community can share stories with them. They have developed a program for children entitled Madam Spiderwhere they tell local fairytales and myths on the radio.

Vulgain Imboda
Educator

Our Team | Tales of Us

Vulgain Imboda

Educator

Vulgain Imboda is an educator in the SPAC school ‘Sanza Mobimba’. There she teaches kids in elementary school and creates extra curricular activities based on her knowledge of storytelling, creative practices and her unique approach to children.

David Kamp, Sound Design Congo Tales

David Kamp
Sound Design

David Kamp, Sound Design Congo Tales
Our Team | Tales of Us

David Kamp

Sound Design

David Kamp is a composer and sound designer, he invents and designs new sounds with an array of digital and analog materials and tools. For Congo Tales he journeyed to the Congo Basin for a week and recorded over 100 hours of multichannel audio in the rainforest, the savannah and a handful of small villages. He used this rich material to create an immersive sonic experience embracing the Congo Basin in all of its detail. Accompanying the stunning visuals of this exhibition, this auditory journey will transport you into the heart of the forrest, and introduce you to the sonic orchestra of one of the most bio-diverse places on earth.

Tartaruga Feliz, Character design workshops Tales of Us / Congo Tales

Tartaruga Feliz
Character Design

Tartaruga Feliz, Character design workshops Tales of Us / Congo Tales
Our Team | Tales of Us

Tartaruga Feliz

Character Design

Deborah Rodriguez works as an illustrator, animates and sometimes codes. In 2015 she started to teach and fell in love with it.

After working at Disney Club Penguin, she founded a game studio in Paris. Then, after participating in collective exhibitions, she had her first solo show in Berlin, inspired by her journey in character design with the Pictoplasma Academy. She has been working on Congo Tales developing the methodologies and workshops that would become the foundation for the working process of Congo Tales.

As a teacher, she founded Gluck Workshops, where she empowers children creatively, through explorations in Art and Technology. As a new media artist, she creates interactive installations, animations and experiences where adults can live memories of childhood and kids can explore new ways of expressions and feelings.

Taina de Oliveira Lagoeiro, Producer Congo Tales

Taina de Oliveira Lagoeiro
Producer

Taina de Oliveira Lagoeiro, Producer Congo Tales
Our Team | Tales of Us

Taina de Oliveira Lagoeiro

Producer

Tainá Moreno is a creative producer with a background in Film. After completing her studies at the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam, she moved to Berlin and started the multi-purpose project space; Agora Collective. Agora developed into two building over the course of 6 years and became a center for contemporary practices, focusing on social art practice, food and sustainable entrepreneurship. After Agora, Tainá started freelancing and supporting Tales of Usas well as working closely with performance artist Isabel Lewisa.o.

Roger Innis, Producer Tales of Us

Roger Innis
Producer

Roger Innis, Producer Tales of Us
Our Team | Tales of Us

Roger Innis

Producer

Roger Inniss is a casting and Production Director and operates with Boom Productions, Inc. He is a close collaborator of Pieter Henket’s work and is involved in most of his projects.

Roger is currently a Casting and Production Director that shares most of his time between New York and Amsterdam for editorial and advertising shoots, fashion shows, print production, and special projects.

Karen Hofstetter
Branding & Graphic Design

Our Team | Tales of Us

Karen Hofstetter

Branding & Graphic Design

Karen Hofstetter is a Brazilian art director and designer with over 12 years of experience in the fields of graphic design, illustration and photography. Currently living and working in Berlin, Karen specializes in creating comprehensive brand/visual identities across web, print, and other offline mediums. She works directly with freelancers in other disciplines (copywriters, programmers, motion designers, etc.) to provide her clients with a full-service creative studio experience.

Anne Wollney, Production Assistant Tales of Us

Anne Wollney
Production Assistant

Anne Wollney, Production Assistant Tales of Us
Our Team | Tales of Us

Anne Wollney

Production Assistant

Anne studied Applied Media Science whilst working for different production companies (e.g. AllMedia Pictures, Aspekt Telefilm). After graduating in 2008, she worked as a Production Assistant and Media Producer primarily for TV Commercials and Digital Content. In 2014, Anne became the Production Assistant for our feature film ‘Hördur’ After more commercial work and a year-long stay in Australia, Anne now supports Storming Donkey as a Team & Production Assistant. She takes care of the daily office operations and the organisational aspects of our projects.

Shaleah Dawnyel, Content copy editor, Tales of Us

Shaleah Dawnyel
Communication & Strategy

Shaleah Dawnyel, Content copy editor, Tales of Us
Our Team | Tales of Us

Shaleah Dawnyel

Communication & Strategy

Shaleah Dawnyel is an artist turned business development curator. She helps creatives navigate the confusing waters of small business growth so they can make better decisions and stay true to their core values. In her work she provides guidance, accountability metrics  encouragement to help projects reach their goals.

Steve Amigo
Teacher

Our Team | Tales of Us

Steve Amigo

Teacher

Steve is a teacher at the SPAC school ‘Sanza Mombima’ he has a degree in African history and has a special bond with the children. He has supported the project with his enthusiastic participation and the many stories he was able to bring from the classroom to the book.

Said Abitar, Art director Tales of Us

Said Abitar
Art Director

Said Abitar, Art director Tales of Us
Our Team | Tales of Us

Said Abitar

Art Director

Saïd Abitar is an art director and teaches at  La Cambra Art academy in Brussel. He works on several films, theater productions and operas.

Carolina D’auria, project advisor Congo Tales

Carolina D’auria
Project Advisor

Carolina D’auria, project advisor Congo Tales
Our Team | Tales of Us

Carolina D’auria

Project Advisor

Carolina D’Auria is the director of the SPAC school ‘Sanza Mobimba’, living between Munich and Mbomo, she oversees all activities in the school and trains the staff to run the schools independently. She is responsible for the development of the curriculum, the placement of the satellite schools in remote locations and the training of the staff to run these institutions. The methodology she follows is ‘teach the teachers’ where she actively empowers local educators to take the lead in the educational spheres.

Wilfried N’sonde, literature adaptation support

Wilfried N’sonde
Literature Adaptation Support

Wilfried N’sonde, literature adaptation support
Our Team | Tales of Us

Wilfried N’sonde

Literature Adaptation Support

Wilfried N’Sondé was born in Brazzaville. He is a writer and musician. Wilfried N’Sondé grew up in Ile-de-France where he studied political science before moving to Berlin. His first novel, the double-award-winning Le Coeur des enfants leopards (2007), along with his subsequent novels, are published by ACTES SUD.

Theophane Bokaka
Story Research

Our Team | Tales of Us

Theophane Bokaka

Story Research

Theophane Bokaka is an active member of the Mbomo community. He has been involved as a social worker and is now working within the administration of the SPAC schools. He is trained in Journalism and has a vast knowledge of the mythological heritage of the region.

Community development in the Congo

Auguste Miabeto
Linguist

Community development in the Congo
Our Team | Tales of Us

Auguste Miabeto

Linguist

Auguste Miabeto is a specialist on Sub-Saharan African oral literatures and traditions. He is director of C.I.R.E.C.K. (Centre Internacional de Recherche-Education sur la Civililisation Koongo – International center for Research-Education of the Kongo civilisation) in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

Get in
Touch

Our work in education and conservation takes us to some of the most magical and endangered places on the planet.

These geographic exchanges allow us to follow our mission of increasing avenues for awareness, conservation and cooperation, between cultures and continents as we realize the dream of each project.

To get involved with the Congo Tales project or to get more information about other projects please get in contact.

 

Press contact:
Christopher Nutter | Nutter Media
cell +1 917 770 0350
[email protected]

Where should
we go next?

Tales of Us is an ongoing cultural awareness project committed to immortalizing the hidden stories of the world. You can help us by suggesting a place or becoming a partner and collaborator for future projects. Suggest our next location in the blank below and help us to unite cultures!

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