Urban Now: City Life in Congo

WIELS
  • 07/05 | 19:00
  • 08/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 10/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 11/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 12/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 13/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 14/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 15/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 17/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 18/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 19/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 20/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 21/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 22/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 24/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 25/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 26/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 27/05 | 11:00 - 18:00
  • 28/05 | 11:00 - 18:00

€ 10 / € 7

Sammy Baloji is a Congolese artist working between Lubumbashi and Brussels. Filip De Boeck is a Belgian anthropologist researching the history of ideas and cultural politics in post-colonial Africa. Both are fascinated by the way in which past and present glide across each other in today’s large Congolese cities. By way of an exhibition and a publication in 2016, Baloji and De Boeck present the results of an artistic and ethnographic study of the ‘urban now’: African metropolises at a tipping point between the broken dreams of the colonial past and the resounding promises of a neoliberal future. In the resulting gap, new social spaces emerge, invented by the inhabitants themselves in order to circumvent and overcome poverty, exclusion, and violence. Baloji and De Boeck capture a dehumanised world where, despite everything, mankind continues to look for ways to exist, live together, and survive, with a view to a better future.

See also
Artist talk

An exhibition by
Sammy Baloji & Filip De Boeck

Curator
Devrim Bayar

Presentation
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, WIELS

In collaboration with
Summer of Photography 2016

With the support of
Research Fund KU Leuven

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Sammy Baloji (b. 1978, Democratic Republic of Congo) lives and works in Lubumbashi and Brussels. Ethnography, architecture and urbanism are key thematic focuses of Baloji’s artistic practice, which brings together photography, video, and archival documents relating to colonial history. His reading of the Congolese past is a way of analyzing African identity today, through the prism of the different political systems that our society has experienced. In 2010 Baloji founded the Picha (‘Image’ in Swahili) non-profit organization as part of a collective initiative, which organizes the Rencontres Picha Biennial in Lubumbashi and supports the development of local artistic practices.

Filip De Boeck (b. 1961, Antwerp) lives and works in Brussels. As the coordinator of the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA, formerly the Africa Research Centre), a Research Unit of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Leuven, anthropologist Filip De Boeck is actively involved in teaching, promoting, coordinating and supervising research in and on Africa. Since 1987 he has conducted extensive field research in both rural and urban communities in D.R. Congo (ex-Zaire). His current theoretical interests include local subjectivities of crisis, postcolonial memory, youth and the politics of culture, and the transformation of private and public space in the urban context in Africa.

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