La Sape and Other Local Imaginaries in Kinshasa
Date: Friday 13 May
Time: 11:00 – 15:30 (BST / WAST)
Location: SOAS Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre in London or online via Zoom link
Language: French with English subtitles for pre-recorded talks and simultaneous translation for the live sessions.
From a ‘reservoir of miseries’, a euphoric and optimistic rhetoric has emerged, the future now being African, the continent being set to soon overtake China and the other BRICS as a new global creative and economic force redrawing the picture of the world.
– Felwine Sarr on the recent changes in the narratives around the African continent in Afrotopia(2016).
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is without a doubt one of the main agents in this process, its capital, Kinshasa, being projected to reach a population of 83 million inhabitants by 2100. The DRC, with the largest coltan and cobalt reserves in the world is the centre in the global dynamics of extractive capitalism. Beyond fascination or catastrophism, this online symposium presents four voices, looking at the work of artists, designers and writers working today out of Kinshasa. These talks will present various positions from the fields of contemporary art, fashion and writing, to gauge the pulse of artistic production in the African city and explore the ways artists and designers address the necessity of articulating new local imaginaries in the face of accelerated technological and economic changes.