‘O Grande Kilapy’ (“The Great Kilapy” — ‘kilapy’ is Kimbundu for ‘scheme’, or ‘fraud’), the new film by director Zézé Gamboa, portrays the last decade of Portuguese rule in Angola through the story of Joao Fraga (played by Lazaro Ramos): The film’s facebook page has some clips. Also check this production video for the images […]
This music video for Big Frizzle’s ‘All Black Everything’, produced by London-based media house GlobalFaction made me wonder about GlobalFaction’s politics, and their use of imagery. I’m struck by the flood of historical images featuring in recent Congo-related music videos. Congo, in many music videos, gets often used as a stand-in for ‘Africa’ in general. […]
This is a bit older, but still worth watching. Above is a short clip from ‘Silent Elections’, a 40 min. documentary film Belgian video artist Sarah Vanagt produced in 2009. In the opening scene, she explains how “[in] 2005, I met Tonton (15), Dodo (14), and Daniel (12), three street children living on the lava […]
The text that comes with Agata Pietron’s photographs of youth in Kiwanja and Rutshuru (North Kivu, Congo) flirts with the clichés (the Conrad reference; the brave missionaries; the photographer is a “muzungu” who “discovers” youth who are into R&B and rap, wearing “Chinese made sportswear knockoffs”; and despite the “absurd” circumstances people have “strong spirits”), […]
New York is an amazing city, especially from a hip-hop perspective. It’s one of the few places on earth where you can see that hip-hop is part of the culture, not just something that you watch on TV. But for me – doing music that is mostly in French and not in some Congolese language that sounds exotic for Western people – it’s a difficult market. I take everything that happens here like a plus one. I’m not supposed to be here.
Jogchum Vrielink, in this guest post, writes about the attempt by a Congolese student to obtain a ban on the comic book ‘Tintin in the Congo.’ A Brussels court rejected their claims. Despite this outcome, the reasoning of the court jeopardizes free speech, argues Vrielink, a postdoctoral researcher on discrimination law at Belgium’s University of Leuven. As regards the applicants: ‘offensive as the comic may be, their recourse to the law is both misdirected and counterproductive.’
Geo-branding is a serious thing. It is particularly serious when people from other geographic areas decide to brand your geographical area and the people in it, the way they see fit and the way that fits their purposes. No other country, region or continent, I’d argue, suffers from other peoples’ nonsense as much as the […]
Guest Post by Lara N. Dotson-Renta Paris has always been renowned for its culture and support of the arts. Yet, as France has grown into an ever more pluralistic society, the traditional image of what constitutes art in France must evolve as well. Younger generations of artists, many immigrants of African origin, are now reconfiguring […]
In the DRC, city life isn’t foremost defined by the image of the child soldier (contrary to what some campaigns would have you believe) but rather by that of the street child. Seen by many as a superfluous presence, a residue or a waste, street children become easy victims of gossip and accusations while at the same time, as a relatively new phenomenon, they are also hard to explain, ultimately turning into something of a danger and a threat that, according to all too many citizens, needs to be dealt with and ideally removed from the stuttering and improvisational city logics.