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Photography as Writing

Baudouin Bikoko, Mirror Series, date unknown.
Baudouin Bikoko is considered the guardian of Congolese photographic heritage. His deep connection to photography stems from his uncle, a photographer. His commitment to promoting Congolese photography was ignited during his exposure to contemporary African art in Paris. Through his efforts, Bikoko meticulously catalogued archival photographs and established platforms to showcase the works of Congolese practitioners. His innovative approach to the medium, influenced by Simon Tshiamala, involves using reflective surfaces, like a car’s rear-view mirrors, and transforming images into multidimensional works of art. In this text, he provides a comprehensive overview of both the medium’s history and of contemporary practitioners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.