A new exhibition, 53 Echoes of Zaire, depicts the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly known as Zaire. A former Belgian colony, native people suffered greatly at the hands of their colonial masters.
Congo Belge II, Kalema. 52.5 x 69cm, Acrylic on canvas.
'Colonie Belge' is a sub-genre that developed within the Lumumbashi art movement of the 70s. Paintings typically show Congolese people suffering graphic violence at the hands of Congolese prison officers or police while the white Belgian officer casually looks on.Colonie Belge II, Culture Obligatoire. Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu. 40 x 68cm, Acrylic on canvas.
This painting narrates the arrival of European explorers, starting with the Portuguese in 1487. This period was marked by slavery and forced labor and the paintings keep the memories alive.
Untitled by Kalema. 47 x 65.5cm, Acrylic on canvas.
Independence was granted to Belgian Congo on 30 June 1960, and this painting shows the nation's first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, delivering his famous speech in which he condemned the colonial period.
Le 30 juin 1960, Zaïre indépendant, Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu. 46 x 63.5cm, Acrylic on canvas.
After Congo gained independence from Belgium, political strife began almost immediately with conflict between president Joseph Kasavubu (on the left) who favored decentralization and prime minister Lumumba who wanted a strong central government.Conflit Kasavubu -- Lumumba, Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu. 39.5 x 62.5cm, Acrylic on canvas.
The government of Patrice Lumumba lasted just 10 weeks, as first the province of Katanga declared its in