Rankin said, in a press release posted on Oxfam's site,
“It is crazy that we hear nothing about the Democratic Republic of Congo. The level of suffering there is horrendous, but it hardly makes the news. I heard awful stories of young girls being raped and people fleeing attacks on their villages. Despite the suffering that they have been through the people of Congo are just like us and need our help. I hope the exhibition will wake people up to what is going on.”
The NGOs, for example, get barrels of money thanks to the images that photographers generate of mortally sick or malnourished children, money that they use, among other things, to expand their projects… If I ask a local African what he would really like to do professionally, I often get the answer that they want to work for an NGO, because in their country, NGO workers live a rich life in comfortable houses.”“In fact,” continued Martens, “I find it a very hypocritical situation. Not because journalists and photographers would be just a gang of profiteers exploiting others’ poverty by turning it into attractive or impressive images and making piles of money, but because none of the profits that these images generate return to the people that deliver the raw material: the poor allowing themselves to be filmed. This makes the exploitation of filmed and photographed poverty a perfect double (analogy) for rubber, coltan or slave labour. The economical value of these phenomena is denied to the local population, and consequently, they get hardly anything in return. The poor are never involved in getting anything back from the exploitation of their poverty, they have no ownership over it, they are mostly not even aware of the fact that their willingness to be photographed brings in huge amounts of money for the NGO’s."