Belgian Congo

In 1948, Lennart Nilsson and the journalist Svante Löfgren were commissioned by the Black Star image bureau to travel to what was then known as Belgian Congo. Two months of work resulted in a dozen or so photo essays that were sold to several international illustrated magazines.

Pygmies, Belgian Congo, 1948 ©Lennart Nilsson/TT Newsagency

Pygmies, Belgian Congo, 1948 ©Lennart Nilsson/TT Newsagency

Lennart Nilsson and his colleague made their way around the country by plane, paddle steamer and train, and returned with pictures and stories that changed many people’s ideas about a continent that was unknown to them. Photos full of drama, laughter and affection.