Posts tagged ‘Kinshasa’

Photo Exhibition on LA SAPE (Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant People), Sept. 18-29 2017 @ Alliance Française


A Photo Exhibition by Baudouin Mousanda (from Brazzaville) and Yves Sambu (from Kinshasa)

Dates: September 18 – 29, 2017
Venue: Alliance Française, Nairobi

About
The CPF (Comité permanent de la Francophonie au Kenya), an apolitical, non-denominational and non-profit organization which regroups member states of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF – Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) based in Nairobi, in partnership with the Alliance Française, present an exhibition of photos on the Congolese sub-culture of ‘La Sape’ (Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant Persons).

The Sape has its origins in the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republc of Congo. One could not immediately relate this phenomenon of elegance and fashionable extravagance in countries that have been marred by civil war over several decades. Yet, amid the conflicts, there exist these self-proclaimed dandies of sub-Saharan Africa – known as the Sapeurs – just ordinary working men who are devoted to the cult of style and impeccable moral conduct (respect, peace, integrity, honour…). Despite their expensive sense of dress, they are not rich men. This social movement that glories elegance and style was revived in the 1970s by Papa Wemba, the King of Rumba Rock, but also the undisputed King of the Sapeurs.

La Sape can be traced back to the colonial period. ‘There were people in sub-Saharan Africa during the 1930s and 1940s – dubbed évolués (meaning well rounded individuals) according to the terminology of the period – who would imitate Europeans. They would put on airs and copy the colonialists’ behavior. This was a way for them to highlight their social superiority and assert their identities. This kind of dandy is a well-known stock-character in African literature’; says Romuald Fonkua, Director of the International Centre for French Studies at the Sorbonne University.

In the 1970s, La Sape became a protest against the “abacost” policy — from the French “à bas le costume,” or “down with the suit” — that was implemented in Congo. In accordance with Zairianization, the official state ideology of the Joseph-Désiré Mobutu regime, wearing a European style suit and tie was officially forbidden. President Mobutu wore a hat made of leopard fur, a symbol of power in the Bantu population.

“In this sense, La Sape was truly a revolutionary behavior,” notes Fonkoua. “It expressed both resistance and the assertion of an African identity with a global outlook, as opposed to Mobutu’s limited, obtuse vision.”
The Sapeurs have a simple philosophy ‘to live with joie de vivre’. However, in a country devastated by conflict and poverty, one wonders how this flamboyant lifestyle is sustained.

The photographer Baudouin Mouanda from Brazaville is an internationally acclaimed photographer. He won ‘The Young Talent Award’ at the influential African Photography Biennial, Bamako Encounters, in 2009 for his photography project on the ‘Sapeurs’. “I look at Africa with positivity,” says Mouanda, “I don’t see Africa from the perspective of people who never came here. I see Africa as a continent that will surprise people tomorrow. I’m sure of it.”

Nicknamed Photouin (Photo + Baudouin), Mouanda began his photographic journey in 1993, when his father offered him his first camera. Years later, he was awarded Best Photographer from the Fine Art School of Kinshasa. Baudouin studied journalism in Paris. His work is published regularly in Afrique magazine, Jeune Afrique, VSD, L’Express Style and Planète Jeune.

The photographer Yves Sambu is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts of Kinshasa. Born in Lukula (Bas-Congo) in 1980 – he lives and works in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. He studied painting but decided to devote himself particularly to photography and video.

His work is based on the dynamic evolution of man and the social integration of men and women in the “City”. He addresses cohabitation issues which demand respect for one another despite differences in points of view or way of being. For Yves, it is not only the artistic result which is important, but also the process and the approach. Thus, he thinks “… should not art serve its true function in society?”

Concise Programme available, here

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September 15, 2017 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

Exhibition: Genesis by Bezalel Ngabo, Feb. 4-28 2014 @ Creativity Gallery – National Museum

Exhibition: Genesis by Bezalel Ngabo

Exhibition: Genesis by Bezalel Ngabo


GENESIS: An exhibition by BEZALEL NGABO.

Dates: February 4-28, 2014
Venue: Creativity Gallery, Nairobi National Museum
Time: Daily 8.30 am to 5.30 pm
Entry: Museum rates apply

Bezalel Ngabo realized he had artistic abilities when he was very young. He was born in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa where he attend the fine arts school, academy des beaux-arts to build his skills. His art later took him to Kenya where he held several exhibitions providing him opportunities to further his career. Bezalel now resides in Nairobi, Kenya. He is married to a beautiful Kenyan lady and is currently a father of one.

Painting is Bezalel’s way of appreciating the beautiful world we live in, especially in Africa to educate his viewers of the basic virtues of life that help contribute in making our world even more beautiful. Painting mainly abstracts, Bezalel draws his inspiration from the Holy Bible, which he believes is a mirror to the human spirit, and from day to day happenings in our society. All his pieces are original and unique.

To view some of Bezalel’s stunning art visit: http://www.bezalelngabo.com/

February 3, 2014 at 9:46 am Leave a comment


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