These photographs were taken as part of a larger research project tracing Mobutu Sese Seko’s construction projects in Kinshasa in the late 1960s and 1970s. The sites were part of a drive initially taking place under Mobutu’s cultural policy of retour à l’authenticité, instigated in 1967 as a means of taking recourse in pre-colonial Congolese traditions. This gave rise to a wide variety of architectural styles, adorned by artworks largely commissioned from a group called the avant-gardists. The selection of photos seen here presents glimpses of some of the sites and their artworks.


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