Ryan Gosling is using his voice to shed light on an important issue afflicting the people of Congo.
The African country is currently in the middle of a controversy over a delay in announcing the results of its recent election, and The Associated Press reports the Canadian actor is watching the situation.
Gosling has collaborated on a book with activists called Congo Stories, contributing photos he took in the country to illustrate.
Now Gosling wants consumers around the world to start making more informed choices about the minerals that go into the products they buy, like smartphones.
“I’ve learned that if Congo was the beneficiary of its own natural resources it would be one of the richest countries in the world as opposed to one of the poorest,” Gosling told AP.
“I’ve also learned that despite centuries of brutality and exploitation, there is an incredible movement in Congo among people who are using the living nightmares they have endured as fuel to make the hopes and dreams of their families and country a reality,” he continued.
“The momentary choices that we make as consumers can have lifelong consequences for the people of the countries from which those products are sourced,” Gosling said. “We have an opportunity as consumers to support those who are being exploited in their efforts to achieve justice and live the lives to which they are entitled.”
“Congo Stories” co-writer John Prendergast spoke directly about the election results, telling the AP, “It is impossible to ignore the mountains of evidence of a stolen election and a stolen government. If they steal the final electoral result, it will just compound the losses of the Congolese people, whose resources and rights have been taken by Congo’s leaders, present and past.”