congolese

Confession

i don’t understand some of the things done in African culture. honestly it’s odd and it’s like a bondage almost. it’s so strict on respect that there are extra measures taken, you know, to keep it like that. i don’t know if it’s done in other African cultures but ive grown up around Congolese culture. my family and i are currently living with my aunt and other aunt who’s staying with her for situational reasons. my dad stopped going in the living room ever since she moved in. he doesn’t dine with us, hardly watches TV with us. us as in my sister, mom, and i. i really don’t understand why it’s like that and i probably never will. we’re looking for a house of our own right now. he’s always saying he feels like hes in prison, and he doesnt feel free to do what he wants. he really wants to move out. i honestly want to too bc they’re scared of my dog lol so hes not free to roam around but anyways yeah, its confusing honestly.

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Congo Love

Congo love, is the start of a series of portraits that explore Congolese subculture in Luanda, Angola. The portraits meet the viewers gaze, inviting one to question if in these portraits we can connect hairstyles, make up, beauty ideals, fabric prints as an identity that has been developed by like minded Congolese immigrants in Angola that feel neglected or disconnect from the Angolan society. 

What do we have in common?

Women reveal themselves in a posture that symbolize physical attractiveness, sentiment and change over time in the congolese culture present in Luanda. Men simply pose self-assured, while children show their innocence in their posture and facial expression. Congo Love, explores the congolese beauty and the complexity that connects them with Angolan ideologies.

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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. 2012-2013. Fighters and victims of the Kivu Conflict; often both at the same time. Produced in North and South Kivu. Film stills from The Enclave by Richard Mosse. [13/13]

The Irish photographer filmed strange footage of the country using a special surveillance film once used by the military. Picking up invisible infra-red rays given off by plant life, the film makes any greenery show up in ‘bubblegum’ pink, meaning guerilla soldiers could be spotted among the leaves.

Civil war has been happening in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for many years. Since 1998, the nation has seen 5.4 million war-related deaths.

Kiripi Katembo’s best photograph: the heroic women of Kinshasa

“When I look at this picture, I think about all the work women do to serve the economy of Congo and their families, but they get no respect. They are treated like machines, while men can do what they like. I also think of my mother, who died last year. She worked in the market, ran her own business, knitted and worked out in the fields, too. So I called this image Move Forward as a way of saying thank you to women – because they are the true power of my country, the people driving it forward”

- Kiripi Katembo.

(Shortly after he spoke to the Guardian, Kiripi Katembo died of malaria in Kinshasa, aged 36. Katembo’s work is part of the Beauté Congo 1926-2015 exhibition at Fondation Cartier in Paris.)