Reconnaissance, mémoire culturelle et mise en circulation globale des expériences locales : démarches esthétiques et prises de position éthiques de Sammy Baloji, Steve Bandoma et Freddy Tsimba

Bogumił Jewsiewicki


All three artists are citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mostly living and working there, they consider themselves global artists. Born and raised in big cities (Kinshasa and Lubumbashi) after the independence of the country, they have neither living experiences of the colonial time nor of their parents’ village culture. Either the orally transmitted cultural memory of parental ethnic groups or written documentation gave them access to the aesthetics and the contents of local cultural production. All three combine the formal training in Western artistic traditions and global media with the immersion in ethnic cultural memory and in contemporary urban culture. Sammy Baloji’s photography presents new insights into the relevance of the colonial past and of the industrial heritage for the future of his generation. Freddy Tsimba’s reworking of the cultural memory of the Kongo art of healing applies universal values to the contemporary suffering of the society torn by civil wars. Steve Bandoma’s collages combine local and global (Western) art forms in search for values relevant to his generation of young Africans aspiring to global citizenship.

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