International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs reviews Still a Pygmy

Anthropologist Diane Vinding has reviewed Still a Pygmy for IWIGIA. She concludes:

While Still a Pygmy is commendable for describing an extraordinary life trajectory, one of its most fascinating Still a Pygmy cover for webaspect is to show how Isaac—much like his ancestors who knew how to find their way in the dense rain forest and cope with its numerous challenges—is able to manoeuver and find his way in an extremely hostile modern environment, where in order to survive he has to deal with multiple obstacles, including corruption and civil war. What ultimately breaks him, however, is the violent discrimination against Pygmies that excludes any kind of recognition of their human rights. Isaac Bacirongo therefore ends up paying dearly for his advocacy. Kabungulu, who inspired him to become an activist, paid an even higher price: he was murdered in 2005.

It is therefore somewhat comforting to see how the Pygmy movement, which Isaac Bacirongo and others initiated, has grown stronger. In 2005, a national network, La Dynamique des Groupes des Peuples Autochtones, was established to promote the recognition of indigenous Pygmy rights in Congolese legislation. Among the achievements of this network, which today gathers 43 community-based Pygmy organizations, is a draft law on the rights of indigenous Pygmies submitted in 2014 to parliament. An historic march of thousands of Pygmies was organized in the streets of Kinshasa to demand the adoption of the law. While there is still a long way to eliminate the discrimination and poverty Pygmies suffer from in the DRC, a first major step has now been taken.

You can read the full review here.