To photograph “Stalking a Killer” in the July issue of National Geographic magazine, photographer Pete Muller traveled deep into the remote forest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo where bush meat hunters are at risk for being exposed to the Ebola virus to the apex of the killer Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. “Ebola virus is a zoonosis, an especially nasty and perplexing one—killing many of its human victims in a matter of days, pushing others to the brink of death, and then vanishing. Where does it hide, quiet and inconspicuous, between outbreaks?” wrote the story’s author, David Quammen.
“Of course, as a photographer you’re asked to put yourself into positions where the risk levels are high to see burials, to see body collection, to see people who are infected with the virus. You have to be in the proximity and it is nerve wracking for sure. I thought with the correct precautions it was an approachable assignment, but that’s not to say that I wasn’t nervous. I spent several sleepless nights,” Muller said.
Pete Muller (b.1982) is an American photographer and researcher based in Nairobi, Kenya. His work focuses on masculinity, national identity and conflict in post-colonial states. He works on a mix of editorial assignments and long-term personal projects. His ongoing work, A Tale of Two Wolves, examines the interplay between notions of masculinity, male experience and violence. He has worked in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, the Palestinian Territories, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and elsewhere. He is a contributing photographer to National Geographic, TIME Magazine, and the Washington Post and has received awards from World Press Photo, the Overseas Press Club, TIME Magazine, Pictures of the Year International and others. He is member of the photo collective, Prime.
Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues. National Geographic, the most popular brand on Instagram, has more than 215 million followers.
National Geographic Presents: Ebola
Featuring: Pete Muller
Curated by: Kurt Mutchler
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