In North Kivu, R&B is pure art

The text that comes with Agata Pietron’s photographs of youth in Kiwanja and Rutshuru (North Kivu, Congo) flirts with the clichés (the Conrad reference; the brave missionaries; the photographer is a “muzungu” who “discovers” youth who are into R&B and rap, wearing “Chinese made sportswear knockoffs”; and despite the “absurd” circumstances people have “strong spirits”), but her portraits are striking, and introduce us to a music scene we won’t find on Youtube. More below:

And the full series on Pietron’s website.


2 thoughts on “In North Kivu, R&B is pure art

  1. Hello,
    Thanks for featuring my story on DRC musicians on your blog. I guess its true I flirted with cliches 😉 In fact, the text was very carefully written to cover the aspects I saw. “…the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.” …And my point was to give as much context and play with cliches. No matter what I do, I am muzungu and I cannot change that 😉 People usually don’t understand that wearing Chinese made sportswear knockoffs in US, Paris, Venezuela, Kenya, Rwanda, and DRC in all those places mean something completely different. As for the missionaries… I would write that they have balls, but in the end decided to picture them in more distinguished words.

    kind regards,
    Agata Pietron

  2. Entertainment in the DRC does indeed plays a lot into why Congolese are resilient, but resilience and entertainment could only go so far for a situation that requires action. The US backed Rwanda and Congolese government that remain completely uncaring of the fate of millions of congolese will suffer consequences one day and yes it will be a day of celebration for these young people

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