6 December, 2009 — Media Channel
I came to the Congo in search of its future and instead found myself marching down memory lane. On Thursday we went to the Museum of Beaux Arts, really a school for teaching sculpture, a subject close to me because my late dad sculpted in stone and wood as a hobby.
But there, surrounding the ageing art deco building, were statues of Congo’s history of agony—large almost socialist realist renderings of soldiers carrying the wounded, or falling on the battlefield.
Even an art school cannot ignore the history around it. The curator told me that it is only recently that art students have been allowed to do work of social commentary.
On Friday, we passed a public monument alongside a well-traveled highway. It was for someone who took decades to be resuscitated as a national hero, the country’s first post-independence prime minister later assassinated with CIA help in 1961.
His name: Patrice Lumumba. Continue reading