Mélanie Gouby is an award-winning investigative journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker based in London. Her work focuses on the systemic root causes underpinning violence and conflict, and their impact on human rights, development and the environment. She was the East Africa correspondent for the French newspaper Le Figaro in 2014-2016, and has contributed to The Guardian, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, National Geographic, France 24 and Vice, among others.
Always seeking to let underrepresented communities and the story they need to tell guide her reporting, Mélanie has investigated the diamond trade in the Central African Republic and pangolins trafficking in Cameroon, reported on the political crisis in Burundi, travelled with khat smugglers in Djibouti, and been smuggled herself behind army lines by activists in Sri Lanka. Her latest investigation looks at the response to the world’s second deadliest Ebola outbreak, and is published as a long-form narrative series by Les Jours with the support of a grant from the European Journalism Centre.
From 2011 to 2014, Mélanie lived in Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she covered the rise of the M23 rebellion through to its defeat at the hands of the Congolese army, as well as mining, business and development for the Associated Press. She led the investigation into a British oil company’s illegal activities in the Virunga National Park for the Oscar-nominated documentary Virunga (Netflix), winner of a Peabody and duPont-Columbia Award for outstanding journalism, as well as a One World Media award for Corruption Reporting. In 2019, Mélanie was a nominee for the inaugural Mary Chirwa Award for Courageous Leadership. Her interest for the Great Lakes region began while covering the trials of Congolese rebel leaders at the International Criminal Court in The Hague from 2009 to 2011. Mélanie studied Politics and International Relations at the University College London.
One year after the beginning of the Ebola epidemic, halting the spread of the disease is a continued struggle. The journalist will meet those who act on the ground, to explore the lessons learned and consider them for future processes.
South Sudan has been caught in recurring conflicts for decades, this project explores how trauma and mental health issues inflicted by the violence impact conflict resolution, and draw lessons for peace-building.