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© Colin Delfosse

Embodying Kinshasa


In the streets of Kinshasa, the third most populous city on the African continent, artists are trying to awaken the consciences of their fellow citizens to the environmental issues they face. In a changing urban landscape, they question the profusion of consumer objects and compose ornaments by recycling them. Grouped in collectives, they perform in the streets of the Congolese capital, denouncing society’s problems: pollution, deforestation, over-consumption. Inheritors of an urban culture and an African symbolic tradition, these artists enter into dialogue with the inhabitants of their city with the intention to try and change behaviour.

How can a country with no industries today become a victim of over-consumption?

Since the Berlin conference in 1884, Congo has been at the forefront of globalization. The advent of the country as the leading exporter of coltan (a key ore in the construction of smartphones) is the latest example. In the streets of Kinshasa, where hundreds of thousands of phones are dumped every year, the consequences of our relationship to objects, to the world, are now being reflected in the streets.

By bringing these archetypes thought up in Kinshasa to our Brussels streets, Embodying the City creates a connection between a subject and an a priori unrelated but yet intrinsically linked context. This confrontation will eventually give rise to a questioning of our modernity.




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other works by Colin Delfosse

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