In southern Katanga, one of the richest regions in Africa and the economic heart of Congo, cities originated around copper and cobalt mines. The relationship between the mining industry and the population could almost resemble that between parent and child. For the past ten years Sammy Baloji has been capturing the memories, hopes and imaginings of these children of the mines. The historical perspective in the Memoire
series boldly invites the oppressed of yesterday to engage in dialogue with the ruins of today. Far from presenting an impasse, it invites us to rethink society, as if to exorcise its demons, allowing the dead to find peace so they haunt us no more.
The optimism inherent in this process comes out even more clearly in Kolwezi,
which presents the image of a ghost town and workers who try all they can to reclaim their own wealth, their dreams of comfort and most of all their want for dignity.
Text in English, French, and Dutch.
Also available in the
series: Grassroots Upgraded