The Congo Biennale, curated by Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo and Nicolas-Patience Basabose, will take place over 33 days in public spaces, a fine Art Institute, gallery spaces, Kin Art Studio space, the French Institute and Bilembo art center.
More than 40 artists, designers, architects, art historians, curators, art critics and others from 5 continents, have been invited to propose a project that will be realized and presented as part of this international event in the cosmopolitan city of Kinshasa.
The theme Transition invites artists and thinkers to reflect on the recent history of the Democratic Republic of Congo since the Berlin conference in 1885, when the country became a private property of Belgian King Leopold II, to this day and to question its position and its relations with the rest of the planet.
The Congo Biennale also wants to engage artists, designers, architects and participants working in the city to rethink a social and public space, in dialogue with its history and most immediate urban reality, and to be focused on the urbanity of the city province of Kinshasa by engaging artists and the population.
The Biennale would like to create a space for creation and innovation in a public arena to support socially engaged practices in a local and international context with innovative projects in the social space, so that they can work with the local community, in order to produce and contribute to social development.
This action will revive the local memory and at the same time question its existence while raising some of its issues in order to reflect on common and concrete decisions of actions related to this place. It also consists of a transformation of spaces through collective interventions, because art also has its share of responsibility in society.
“The artist who will be able to execute noble works in order to inspire an ideal of greatness in his people is the man who responds, in the measure of his gifts, to the needs of his time and the problems that arise among his people,”– Cheikh Anta Diop.
Also, the objective of investing the public space during the Biennale is to communicate and make known a possible reproduction of the role of art in society, through the increased awareness of contemporary artists engaged in creative processes that consider art and society as interdependent.
The Congo Biennale will take place in Kinshasha from 20 October – 21 November 2019.