DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



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"Euphoria of two young men as they meet and greet each other"

Taken by Ambroise Ngayimoko, Angolan-born DRC photographer, in 1972.

Event: In this exhibition the artists Sammy Baloji and Patrick Mudekereza present us with a contemporary take on the colonial past.
 
As artists in residence in the museum they got carte blanche in the museum collections. In dialogue with scientists from the museum they have started working with a few collection pieces dating from the beginning of Congo’s colonial history.
 
These collection pieces exhale the atmosphere of the conquest of Congolese territory by the West. The leitmotif of the exhibition ‘Congo Far West’ refers not only to this territorial conquest, but also to the contemporary Congolese artists who artistically and intellectually recapture the collection pieces conserved in the West.

Patrick Mudekereza is a writer and poet but he also writes texts for comic strips, exhibitions and audiovisual art.    

During his time in the museum he is working on a hybrid sculpture entitled L’art au Congo which raises a whole host of questions, and treaties signed with a cross which sealed the transfer of land from the local chefs to Leopold II.
 
Photographer Sammy Baloji is working on a series of photographs and watercolours from a colonial exhibition led by Charles Lemaire.            

He has already exhibited in cities such as Paris, Bamako, Brussels, Cape Town and Bilbao. 

desert-dreamer:

Africa | Kuba woman decorating raffia pile woven cloth, Mushenge, DR Congo | ©Eliot Elisofon. 1970

desert-dreamer:

Africa | Kuba woman decorating raffia pile woven cloth, Mushenge, DR Congo | ©Eliot Elisofon. 1970

(via thefemaletyrant)

fotojournalismus:

N., 19 years old. Sex worker. DRC, June 2005.

“I work as a prostitute for four years now because I need the money. My family knows what I do and says nothing. I am together with my love (pimp) for seven years already even before beginning this work. He lives here with me. He’s always been against this work but since we have nothing there is no other choice. My friends pushed me into this. I had a child but he died from meningitis.”

From congo paradox

[Credit : Francesco Zizola]

(via artblackafrica)

Both in his photographs and in his short films Kiripi Katembo depicts the every day life of the inhabitants of Kinshasa as well as the instable political and economical context of his country.

Thanks to the use of the mobile phone or little video cameras he manages to film as close as possible to the street, avoiding the ban on filming of the Congolese government.

His works can also be more poetic, as in the series ‘un regard’… where he photographs people and landscapes reflection in the puddle of Kinshasa.

Kiripi Katembo Siku is a Goma-born and Kinshasa-based Congolese photographer and filmmaker. His first film Voiture en Carton was made with a cellphone and was selected at the “Pocket Film” Festival in the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2008. Siku is also a co-creater of the association “YEBELA” that is made up of young directors and photographers whose work on video and photo projects depict the every day life of the of people Kinshasa.

READER SUBMISSION

"This picture of my mother was taken in 1979 in Kinshasa, Congo DR. She is a mukongo from the Bakongo people."

submitted by Mavonda

FRIDAY NIGHT SOUKOUS: Felix Wazekwa - Que Demande le Peuple

With the all the tempo changes, you feel as though you’re getting various songs in one continuous stream. That’s what I love about Lingala music. 

DYNAMIC AFRICA HOLIDAY GIFT LIST ITEM #12: A Congo Chronicle: Patrice Lumumba in Urban Art

A Congo Chronicle: Patrice Lumumba in Urban Art provides a unique encounter with the Independence movement that took hold in urban cafés of the Congo. 

This study is developed around a series of about fifty urban art or popular paintings, a genre traceable to the 1920s, by the influential artist Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu. It chronicles contemporary social and political realities in its depiction of the dramatic political career of Patrice Lumumba, the father of Congo independence who became the nation’s first Prime Minister in 1960, but was soon after killed under mysterious circumstances. 

This book helps us understand not only how Congolese view the turbulent years of their independence, but also how it relates to their beliefs. The paintings show how art contributes to the creation of a national history and national heroes, and shapes the national consciousness in a newly independent, multi-cultural society. Essays discuss popular urban art, the life of Patrice Lumumba, Tshibumba’s series of Lumumba paintings, the Congolese memory of Lumumba, and Congolese cultural heroes. 

Purchase a copy.

War Child* teamed up with art charity AptART* to paint a mural on the side of a street children’s drop-in centre in Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The children were involved in designing the mural and painted it themselves. It includes the lion (symbol of the DRC), the colours of the Congolese flag, and a big peace symbol.

Some of the 45 children involved in the project stand in front of the finished mural

The children also received lessons in portrait painting. Most of the street children War Child works with had never used a paintbrush before and very few have ever attended school. Each child was given their photograph, a paintbrush and a canvas to put their new skills to work.

The self portraits of the children are ready to be stretched on to canvas to be used in an exhibition.

Two of the children work on their self-portraits.

Decades of conflict and poverty have left many families unable to properly support their children.

The centres supported by War Child are a haven where children can eat, wash their clothes and get access to the education and counselling that help to rebuild their lives.

More than half of the girls supported by War Child in Goma are survivors of sexual violence.

Much of Goma is still covered in lava after the eruption of the nearby Mount Nyiragongo in 2002, which devastated the town.

The children standing in front of their mural.

(source)

*This is my first time coming across either of these two organizations and so far I have not found any alarming or concerning information about them. If anyone has information or any criticism about either War Child or AptART, feel free to drop it in dynamicafrica’s inbox as my quick research was probably not thorough enough.

legrandcirque:

A young Congolese girl wearing a necklace of photographer’s flashbulbs strung together on a string. Photograph by Nat Farbman. 

Monieka, Belgian Congo

June 1947.

(via manufactoriel)

Ambroise Boimbo was a Congolese patriot who stole the sword of King Baudouin I of Belgium on June 29, 1960 in Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) on the eve of the independence of Belgian Congo.

Original footage of Patrice Lumumba's Independence Day speech on June 30th, 1960, taken from the Raoul Peck documentaryLumumba: La Mort du Prophet”.

Watch the entire film here.

Happy Independence Day to all of our followers from the Democratic Republic of Congo!

June 30th, 1960

"Although this independence of the Congo is being proclaimed today by agreement with Belgium, an amicable country, with which we are on equal terms, no Congolese will ever forget that independence was won in struggle, a persevering and inspired struggle carried on from day to day, a struggle, in which we were undaunted by privation or suffering and stinted neither strength nor blood.

It was filled with tears, fire and blood. We are deeply proud of our struggle, because it was just and noble and indispensable in putting an end to the humiliating bondage forced upon us.”

- From Patrice Lumumba’s Independence Day Speech

Photo Story: Youth Rappers In Eastern Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of those places that photojournalists and print journalists alike often risk their lives by travelling to the ‘Heart of Darkness’ (insert major eye-roll) in order to report on the horrors of the long-lasting internal conflict the country has seen, and its on-going effects. Just how genuine these acts of ‘bravado’ are, or whether they are done for some sort of career gain, is something that readers are left to decide for themselves at the end of the day.

Polish journalist Agata Pietron is not entirely an anomaly as in recent years, we’ve seen several Western journalists redirect their attention to focusing on the daily lives of the citizens of the DRC. On a mission to seek out this ‘everyday-ness’, Pietron travelled to the DRC in late 2009 initially to conduct research for a story on women’s issues (she is unspecific about which), and ended up becoming privy to the local rap scene in the North Kivu region. It is painful to read

Excerpt:

Not surprisingly, the reality was that many of them were having a hard time. Some couldn’t afford the $50-70 per semester school fees and were being forced to drop out. Others were graduating, with little hope of finding a job. Some of them even had a fatalistic attitude that is chilling for me to think about as I listen to the news the last few weeks. Eimable, 20, told me that when the time comes, he will go to the forest to join military group and become a colonel, or general. “Other countries will have no power to stop me. When I will manage to seize territory, occupy few villages, learn to kill, rape, burn houses and destroy everything, others will start to respect me.” For the time being, he was studying pedagogy at the Institut Supérieur Pédagogique (ISP) in Rutshuru.

One of the only ways these youth found inspiration was through music: rap and hip hop. They listened to it on the local radio, and when the Institute’s Internet connection was working, they watched videos on Youtube of American and French rap groups. They said they felt a connection to the music because it is black music sung by blacks from the ghetto, from nowhere. The expression of anger on issues of social justice and rights resonates with them. Their clothing, ghetto celebrity style, started to make more sense.

Many of the youth I met had actually formed their own bands, and had organized a concert, which they invited me to attend. And I did. It turned out that this was quite an important event with cash prizes for winners around $100. For many of us that’s nothing, but in Congo, it’s a decent bounty. (The average monthly salary for a teacher is around $50.)*

The event took place at the Kaoze Community Center, in the village of Rutshuru, Nord Kivu, and lasted for two days.

(read more)


*Not sure who the 'many of us' she's referring to is as for me (and perhaps for many of you reading this), $100 has always been a lot of money

anotherafrica:

Boko man from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Man with characteristic ‘cockscomb’ scarification that was obtained by carving the same place several times.

Photo by Augustes, M. Bal.