Chimurenga returned to Paris for a 5-day intervention and installation at La Colonie. From December 13 – 17, 2017, we installed a live radio station and a research library, and hosted talks, screenings and performances that asked ‘Who Killed Kabila?’, as the starting point for an in-depth investigation into power, territory and the creative imagination.
The equation was simple: the length of a Congolese president’s reign is proportional to his/her willingness to honour the principle that the resources of the Congo belong to others. Mzee Kabila failed.
Who killed Kabila is no mystery either. It is not A or B or C. But rather A and B and C. All options are both true and necessary – it’s the coming together of all these individuals, groups and circumstances, on one day, within the proliferating course of the history, that does it.
So telling this story isn’t merely be a matter of presenting multiple perspectives but rather of finding a medium able to capture the radical singularity of the event in its totality, including each singular, sometimes fantastical, historical fact, rumour or suspicion.
We’ve heard plenty about the danger of the single story – we want to explore its power. We take inspiration from the Congolese musical imagination, its capacity for innovation and its potential to allow us to think “with the bodily senses, to write with the musicality of one’s own flesh” (Mbembe).
At La Colonie, Chimurenga installed a library that included books, films, and visual material mapping extensive research that investigates history and changing formations of rule and accumulation, space and territory, allegiance, citizenship, and sovereignty, and the African imagination in music and writing.
Each day, the Pan Africa Space Station, broadcast live with a programme of interviews, discussions and performances by collaborators from around the world including musicians, DJs, journalists, writers, political theorists, thinkers and filmmakers. After the event, the sounds and images generated in this process will contribute towards a special edition of our Pan African broadsheet, the Chronic.
Participants included Dominique Malaquais, Parselelo Kantai, Philou Lozoulou, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Barly Baruti, Victor Gama, Lulendo Mvulu, Déo Namujimbo, Luigi Elongui, Maurice Poto, Mengi Massamba, Hugo Mendez, Jihan El-Tahri, Bintou Simpore, Martin Meissonnier, Paulo Inglês, Franck Biyong, Ray Lema, Brice Ahounou, Nadine Fidji, Spilulu, Arnaud Zaitjman, Julie Peghini, Sinzo Aanza, Koba Lubaki, Percy Zvomuya, Boddhi Satva, Abdourahman Waberi, Antoine Vumilia Muhindo, Sam Tshintu & Academia, Trésor Kibangula, Bullit, Kovo NSondé, Rokia Bamba-Mennessier, Emmanuel Nashi, Franck Leibovici, Julien Seroussi, Daniel Kalinaki, Pascale Obolo, Kivu Ruhorahoza, Jacques Goba, Mo Laudi, Michelange Quay.
From September 17 – 19 2015, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) Pop-up was installed inside the gallery of Fondation Cartier, Paris with live programming that explored the past-present-future of Congolese music cultures. This intervention was a part of the exhibition Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko. Participating artists in the PASS Pop-UP in Paris included Ray Lema, Elikia M’bokolo, Syllart Records, Afrikaada Magazine, Baloji, Shenguen Shegue, Kongo Astronauts, Christine Eyene. Contributions will also be beamed in from New York, Montreal …
C’est soir: Binetou Sylla avec the producer Charles Tabu, singer Lodia H2O, and Charlotte Kalala. Discussing Koffi Olomide and and and… Final hour live of PASS Pop-Up in Paris. Lock in for the finale. Still time to ndombolo. Friday featured a stack of Syllart records and some with Binetou Sylla guiding us from Paris-Kinshasa-Baranquilla with Yondo Syster from Soukous Star, guitarist Dally Kimoko and DJ Yannick Do. Thursday’s focus: Congolese rumba. History lessons avec Nico, Franco, Tabu Ley and co. DJ, broadcaster, label-boss Binetou Sylla …
Established in 1978 by Senegalese producer Ibrahima Sory Sylla, Syllart Records is an independent label who cover a range of styles, primarily focused on music made in west Africa. Artists include Miriam Makeba, Franco, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Orchestra Baobab, Orchestre Poly-Rhytmo de Contonou, Salif Keita, Ismael Lo, and the catalogue of fabled label Editions Syliphone Conakry. For our PASS Pop-UP in Paris we welcome producer, DJ and Syllart label-boss Binetou Sylla. syllartrecords.com facebook.com/syllartrecords
“Ancestral is a word used by many but it’s not something that I created just to sound cool. It is really connected to a higher level of consciousness and spirituality.” Armani Kombot-Naguemon (better known as Boddhi Satva) told Andy Thomas for SHOOK magazine back in 2009. Boddhi Satva’s distinctive music, catalogued as Ancestral Soul, fuses spiritual vibes with central African rhythms (listen close and you’ll hear the rumba in the 4-4). Often on a deep house tip, his productions and DJing …
Chronicles from the Moziki littéraire collective. Featuring Marie-Louise Bibish Mumbu, Papy Maurice Mbwiti and Fiston Mwanza Mujila. Today’s focus: 50 years after Congo’s independence. More on the crew from Kinshasa here.
Kinshasa-Paris-other worlds… Dominque Malaquais on Mega Mingiedi: “How, precisely, to characterise Mingiedi’s production is a conundrum. A discombobulating mix of graphic poetry, collage, architectural drawing and cartography – part sketch, part comic strip, and part lovingly detailed account of over-arching urban vistas and tiny street-corner details – it defies categories.” (from African Cities Reader II) Artwork: Kin Délestage by Mega Mingiedi. Read Kongo Astronauts profile here.
Invented in 2013, Kinshasa-based crew, Kongo Astronauts imaginatively step through visual concepts, sounds, texts, space and time. Their urban or rural landings explore the sparcity of terrains along with postcolonial realities and dilemmas. Whether at Zongo Falls, the streets of Kin la Belle, or in music videos by Konono No.1 or Baloji, Kongo Astronauts as SPARCK say: “cannot be pinned down as art, [they] cannot be policed by an art world intimately linked to the structures of power that govern us.” …