'Congo does not exist. It is only a river and the big forest.’ - Eric Vuillard

Congo

Faustin Linyekula

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At the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, the Congo basin was allocated to King Leopold the second by the European powers carving up the African continent. Since then, the country has had many names - the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Zaire, Congo-Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo - and at least as many conquerors, independence fighters, explorers and dictators. ‘Congo does not exist. It is only a river and the big forest’, according to one of the French writer Éric Vuillard’s characters in his documentary novel Congo. In this ode to his homeland, Faustin Linyekula reflects on this claim, continuing his lifetime exploration of his country. Together with Pasco Losanganya and Daddy Moanda Kamono, he gives his country a voice and a face using dance, text and sound.

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