Jeff Putnam's Photos of Zaire

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Photography: Archive: Jeff Putnam's Photos of Zaire

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 6:49 pm: Edit Post

Jeff Putnam's Photos Peace Corps Life in Zaire in the 1980's

Peace Corps

I spent some time in the Peace Corps in Zaire after getting out of college and took some pictures. I've been thinking for a while about building a web site or cd with these pictures, and some of my memories about them.

I suggested that this might be a good multimedia project for some student, but after talking to a couple students I got the distinct impression that since it did not involve animation or shockwave or whatever, and that it was likely to be a fair amount of work, that it was beneath them all.

I'm therefore doing it by hand and am starting by trying to make a start by scanning the pictures to at least build a catalog. These are currently scanned multiple photos to a page and the scans are not all good (the photos may not be aligned well or even entirely in the scan). I'm going to be doing some work with these pages as they are, and will be working on ways to make the scanning go a bit faster. I'm also going to be trying to find a better resolution for these scans.

I'm making the incremental scans available on the web here with no explanations, labels or much else. Partly this is for my convenience. But if you want to peek, go ahead.

These pictures are (variously) of Entebbe Airport in Uganda, and Kinshasha, Lubumbashi, Luabo, Chibambo (find that on a map!), Kivu, Kalemie - all in Zaire (now the Republic of the Congo).

Each image is in jpeg format and 800 by 1100 pixels and about 100K in size. The index presents smaller (not small - 120x120 pixels or so) images of the pictures. Under the image are letters M and L - M will take you to a 500x500 (more or less) image and L will take you to the full size image. The pictures may be crooked, will often need color correction and may be upside down.

All images are copyright and may not be used without my consent - for most non profit purposes such consent will not be hard to get.

The index may get big with all the "thumbnails" (see above). You have been warned. Eventually I'll build multiple index pages. Currently there about 300 images on the index page.

OK, OK, enough blather - to the pictures!

For what its worth, I found my time in the Peace Corps to be wonderful and while I don't have any idea of how much (if any) good I actually did, I can always hope. I highly recommend the Peace Corps as an experience for those interested. If you are interested, here are a couple web sites worth visiting : The official peace corps site. Peace Corps Online.

jefu Back to my home page Last modified: Wed May 23 12:15:18 PDT 2001

By Anonymous on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 12:21 pm: Edit Post

Jeff Putnam's collection is quite amazing, a very sophisticated artistic
presentation. The b&w photos and the almost hand-tinted colors give it the
romance of a lost age, and the strange matting and jumbled orientations
make it seem like we are the ones to have found this treasure trove in
some old attic box. And it is up to us to sort out the experience and
life of whoever took the photos. Like any good art it elicits our own
participation in giving it some meaning.

It also reminds me of another photo collection. I began my photo site
after finding someone's old kodachrome slides on the ground, probably
having fallen out of a dumpster. They were not extraordinary shots,
vacation landscapes from the 1950's. Yet they affected me very
emotionally. Like jeff's collection, they recorded someone's life and
experiences, in a particular time and place. I was quite moved that I
was still able to participate in the life of that unknown person, to see
a world and have an experience that s/he wanted, in taking the photos,
to share. I was also quite sad to think that the photos about to be
consigned to oblivion may have been the last vestiges of that life.

Perhaps the internet has not, as predicted, changed everything. But the
internet's ability to easily share lives, interests and experiences
among all people of the world (also a peace corps goal, if I remember
right) has to have some significant effect on the future of the species.

Bill Hocker

By carman ( on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 8:53 pm: Edit Post

Hi Jefu, i wasn't able to contact u by ur old email :) so i did a quick search and found this page, i remember the pictures u showed me in the comp labs :) well anyway i hope everything's going well for ya *of course if u ever read this page again* :)

By Anonymous ( - on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 5:30 pm: Edit Post

Hi all I did a project on Zaire and i could not find a good picture to use i got a fucking F because of that thanks

By bruice ( - on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - 6:44 pm: Edit Post

hi all i am doing Zaire and their is no good picture of any sites and there is no desent Photo thankyou

By dsfsf ( - on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 9:51 am: Edit Post

I hope you had a wonderful time.

AND, people that are doing projects online shouldn't come to this type of thing.
Go search in Google, and please don't whine. :)

I'm glad you had a good time.

By ert ( on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 2:04 pm: Edit Post

I have more pictures if you need of the DR Congo.
Worked with the UN for several years.

You can also check my friends site for more photos and links

or its UN mission there called MONUC

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.