In 2010, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Belgium commemorated the 50th anniversary of Congo’s independence. For the occasion, the Royal Museum for Central Africa presented an exhibition called Indépendance ! Récits congolais.
In 2009 and 2010, exhibit curator and RMCA anthropologist Bambi Ceuppens interviewed several Congolese in DR Congo (Kinshasa, Kisangani, Kipushi and Lubumbashi) and in Belgium. Most of them were present when Congo became an independent nation.
The exhibit used these interviews as starting points to relate the story of independence from a Congolese perspective.
In 2020, ten years later, the RMCA offers an online version of the exhibit as it appeared in 2010.
Sadly, many of the interviewees passed away in the intervening decade. We dedicate this exhibit to their memory. We also express our gratitude to all those who, in Congo, Belgium, and elsewhere, participated in the creation of this Indépendance ! exhibit and its online version.
The exhibition is the result of a partnership between Belgian and Congolese institutions: Bambi Ceuppens (RMCA), Joseph Ibongo (IMNC), and Jacob Sabakinu (UNIKIN).
Publication: M’Bokolo, E. & Sabakinu Kivilu, J (eds.), ‘L’Independance du Congo et ses lendemains’, coll. ‘Studies in Social Sciences and Humanities’, n° 179. Tervuren: RMCA, 352 p. €24.50 / in French
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Project Heritage : 2010 / 2020. Interviews around the Independence of Congo.
In 2010, to mark 50 years of Congo’s independence, Pitcho Womba Konga launched an initiative and the HERITAGE project was born. Around twenty emblematic artists of the Belgian hip-hop scene, most of Congolese origin, used their music to express their sentiments about their country of origin and the space they are afforded by Belgium.
Some of the artists are descendants of Congolese who played pivotal roles in the country’s independence. Banza, the grandson of the first DRC president Joseph Kasavubu, and Teddy L, the grandson of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, comment on colonial and contemporary history through urban music.
In collaboration with AfricaMuseum, this research and writing project led to a CD – HERITAGE – and numerous concerts and performances.
Featuring interviews of Pitcho, Teddy L, 13HOR, Angélique Kaba, Fredy Massamba, Senso, Banza
‘Le Jour d'Après’ by Baloji
From the album ‘Kinshasa Succursale’
Crammed Discs, 2010
‘Muana Poto’, by B.D. Banx & Fredy Massamba
From the album ‘HERITAGE’
Skinfama, RMCA, 2010