Congo

JUPITER & OKWESS INTERNATIONAL – “We’re sleeping on a mattress stuffed with dollars!”

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March 12, 2014
Jupiter and Okwess International at Carlisle Railway Station, September 2012. Photo by Andy Morgan

In the early years of that epic tribal conflict known as the cold war, an Irishman wrote a funny-sad piece of theatre, a kind of excruciating fairy tale about a pair of old tramps who sat around waiting for this guy called Godot. Except that Godot wasn’t a person of course; he was an...
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BALOJI (Part 1) – Super sorcerer of Belgo-congolese rap

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January 17, 2012
Baloji Tervuren 20111010 5 Crop

Once a member of Starflam, one of Belgium’s most successful hip hop crews, Baloji has been ploughing his own furrow for the past five years. He produced his first solo opus ‘Hotel Impala’ in 2007 and is currently limbering up for the worldwide release of his new album, ‘Kinshasa Succursale’. It hits you...
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‘BENDA BILILI’ – “They never told us it was impossible…”

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February 3, 2011
Roger Landu from Staff Benda Bilili

What I find extraordinary about a camera, is that you can film people that seem to be so far from you, culturally speaking, and thanks to the emotion that your work expresses, you can relive certain emotions through them and make them appear extremely close. And it’s clear that you need time to do...
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SOCKLO – The genius guitar maker of Kinshasa

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January 30, 2011
Socklo - genuis guitar maker of Kinshasa

Once a guitarist himself, Socklo now makes about 2 to 3 instruments per week, with the help of a couple assistants, in a clapboard shed in the Lembas district of this enormous teeming city. Tools are rudimentary; no workbench, no electric jigsaws, drills or shape cutters, just a heap of hammers, chisels,...
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STAFF BENDA BILILI #2 – Reasons to be cheeful

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January 6, 2011
STAFFBB_05_Theo_hires

Africa doesn’t need our pity. Africa demands and deserves our admiration and wonder, our humility and respect. Staff Benda Bilili embody this truth with total dedication and style.
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STAFF BENDA BILILI – No pity please!

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January 6, 2011
STAFFBB_01_hires

Long ago, Staff Benda Bilili understood that any real handicap exists only in the mind, rather than in the legs. Stricken by polio whilst still young, abandoned to their fate in one of the toughest and most dysfunctional cities in the world, forced to survive by courage and wit alone, Ricky, Coco,...
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