Independence ? , 2020, © Freddy Mutombo
RADAR

BOZAR celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Congo’s independence

The Democratic Republic of the Congo celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence. On this occasion, BOZAR presents a series of online artistic activities, created in cooperation with Congolese cultural artists and the country’s diaspora.

In the current global context, marked by a multidimensional crisis and mobilisation against racial injustice, this anniversary cannot be univocal. Today’s celebration of the Congo’s 30 June 1960 independence could possibly be even more essential for a Belgian institution than the fiftieth anniversary in 2010.

As an institution that regularly promotes the wealth of Congolese artistic creativity, BOZAR aims to make this occasion a time to reflect and reconsider Belgium’s memory. We wish to encourage artistic and critical dialogue with the public through diverse cultural perspectives online, including interviews, choreographer Faustin Linyekula’s Lettres du continent, concerts, and a screening of a documentary by Dieudo Hamadi. We believe it is particularly important for young Congolese artists – living either in Belgium or in the Congo – to express themselves, since they will be the drivers of needed change in both countries.

Tuesday 30 June 8pm-9:30pm

Music
Delve into the heart of the Congolese-inspired music scene through a series of concerts and artistic performances, in collaboration with Mandji asbl and Change asbl

60e anniversaire de l'indépendance du Congo | Live Concert | BOZAR at home

All concerts will be broadcasted live on our Youtube channel, our website and the Facebook page of BOZAR.

Fredy Massamba © Russel Tshiebua / Lucas Katangila / Shama Bongo © Federico Ariu / Boule Mpanya © Mistermarabout
Fredy Massamba © Russel Tshiebua / Lucas Katangila / Shama Bongo © Federico Ariu / Boule Mpanya © Mistermarabout

The programme includes a performance by author-composer-performer Fredy Massamba, who combines soul, funk and African polyphonies; Shama Bongo, who blends current and traditional sounds, soul and pop; and Lucas Katangila, a choreographer and dancer who is passionate about hip-hop and African contemporary and traditional dance.

Fabrice Mukana © Garcia Landu & David Kounga Byrne
Fabrice Mukana © Garcia Landu & David Kounga Byrne

Next up are Fabrice Mukuna & band. An artist with a jazz background, Fabrice Mukuna, saxophonist, singer and percussionist, combines rumba, Afro-Cuban rhythms and Afro-jazz. He released his first EP, Bokoko Africa, in February 2020, and was chosen to perform in Matongé Sounds 2020, which is organised by Muziekpublique.

Christian Levo, « Le chevalier de la Plume »  © Hubert Amiel
Christian Levo, « Le chevalier de la Plume » © Hubert Amiel

The programme also includes a series of performances put together by Change asbl. Discover young talented Belgian artists: Abu Mehdi, a socially engaged and humanist singer; dazzling slam artist Fatou; Christian Levo and his passion for poetry; and Dady Mbumba, an artist who explores identity issues.

From 30.06 (11am) until 01.07 (11am), we will also stream the concert by Zaïko Langa Langa, held on 29 February as part of the BOZAR Afropolitan Festival. The audience will, once again, be able to witness this incredible event, in during which the most renowned orchestra in the Democratic Republic of Congo celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is a grand celebration of Congolese and Afropolitan culture, and a great opportunity to relive the 2020 BOZAR Afropolitan Festival online! 

With the support of the City of Brussels 
Part of the FORUM Programme collaboration between Africa Museum & BOZAR, funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation.
Co-organised with Mandji Asbl and Change asbl. Communication partner: Muziekpublique.
Re-broadcast by KUUMBA.

 

Wednesday 01 july from 9am

Cinema/Dance
Avant-Première Lettres du Congo

As a preview to Lettres du Continent, a project created by Faustin Linyekula and Virginie Dupray, the film will portray four letters performed and filmed by DRC artists: Didier Ediho, Christiana Tabaro & Michael Disanka from the D’art D’art collective, Dorine Mokha and Jeannot Kumbonyeki. The performances will be broadcasted on our Youtube channel and our website. 

Each performer will talk about the health and political crisis through their experience, whether in Lubumbashi or Kinshasa, as well as their struggles and hopes, reaffirming more than ever the need to create, against all odds...

These Lettres du Congo are part of a larger cinematographic project, Lettres du Continent, which includes 21 letters from artists and art collectives from 18 African countries. The film is produced by Studios Kabako and will be screened by BOZAR in autumn 2020.

Didier Ediho (Tshota) et Christiana & Michael du collectif D’art D’art / Dorine Mokha / Jeannot Kumbonyeki
Didier Ediho (Tshota) et Christiana & Michael du collectif D’art D’art / Dorine Mokha / Jeannot Kumbonyeki

 

Thursday 02 juli 4PM-MIDNIGHT

Cinema
Examen d’État by Dieudo Hamadi

National Diploma (Examen d'État) - Dieudo Hamadi

(only in Belgium, code: 60RDCCinema)

We invite you to log on to the BOZAR Vimeo platform and watch Examen d’État (National Diploma) by Dieudo Hamadi, a major Congolese director and documentary filmmaker. His film focuses on a group of Congolese high school students in Kisangani, who are preparing for their final exams, the equivalent of the French baccalaureate. The film portrays scenes at school and in the chaotic city streets. It won the SCAM International Award and the Special Jury Prize of the Namur International Francophone Film Festival.


 

friday 03 juli

Music
Delve into the vast diversity and contemporary vitality of Congolese music thanks to a Spotify playlist.  

BOZAR | 60th anniversary of the independence of Congo

 

discover more

Check out other interesting events!

KUUMBA Cultural Centre
EXHIBITION Freddy Mutombo: Indepen-dance?Tuesday 30.06-Saturday 11.07+ Performance by Freddy MutomboTuesday 30.06 6pm

Brussels is also hosting several prominent events, with which BOZAR is pleased to collaborate. On 30 June to 11 July, our partner, the Kuumba Cultural Centre, will hold a
Freddy Mutombo photography exhibition: Freddy Mutombo: Indépen-danse?. The exhibition’s opening night will be on 30 June (register to attend) at 6pm. Following a performance by the artist at 6.30pm, the Kuumba Cultural Centre will broadcast on a big screen the BOZAR concerts scheduled that day, from 8pm.

AfricaMuseum
Africa MuseumTalks : « La décolonisation du Congo belge »
Online conference with Jean Omasombo Tshonda (in French)
Tuesday 30.06 12:30pm

Installation at BOZAR, dates TBC
Primordial Earth byLéonard Pongo
Fulu Act – Embodying the City by Colin Delfosse
An outdoor installation in front of the main entrance of the Centre for Fine Arts during the entire summer.
Main Support: Brussels Capital Region

Cc Strombeek, Museumcultuur Strombeek/Gent and Radio Campus, podcasts
Anne Wetsi Mpoma and Pascale Obolo
Tuesdau 30 June - dates in 2021 
Cc Strombeek, Museumcultuur Strombeek/Gent and Radio Campus will offer a series of podcasts. Anne Wetsi Mpoma and Pascale Obolo, who had initially planned an exhibition unfortunately postponed due to the pandemic, have produced 10 recordings, a compelling reflection on the cultural history and future of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Change asbl
Last but not least, Change asbl will launch a major contest geared towards the young Belgian and Congolese generation aged 12 to 18, and which focuses on the following theme: “How do you picture the Congo 10 years from now?” Answers – ­60 seconds long – can be submitted in song, slam, rap, poetry, text…. The Belgian winner will be granted 600 euros; the Congolese winner will be granted 600,000 CDF, half in cash and half in gifts.

Read also
The results of the survey, carried out by Professor Ribio Nzeza Bunketi Buse, on the economic impact of Covid-19 on culture in the DRC have recently been published (in French only).

See also