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Lubumbashi hosts its 7th Biennale of Contemporary Art

If you are visiting Lubumbashi and are a fan of contemporary art, you cannot miss the 7th Bienniale of Contemporary Art, which is being held from 6 October to 6 November, under the artistic direction of the association Picha – image in Swahili.

For those who are less familiar with it, this biennial explores contemporary creation in the art scene in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the world. Today, it is one of the most dynamic and experimental artistic events on the African continent.

For this edition, the bienniale will question toxicity as a condition of existence that inextricably affects social worlds under the title “ToxiCité” or “ToxiCity”. As a starting point, the theme will open up the collective elaboration of a critical and transformative look at the social and cultural environment, in Lubumbashi and in the world.

Composed of two concepts, that of ‘toxic’ and that of ‘city’, the Lubumbashi Biennale envisages questioning and reflecting on the link between contemporary life in the post-colonial urban setting of Lubumbashi and more broadly in the global South, and the impact of a number of industrial, economic, ecological, social and cultural processes that have historically contributed, for better or for worse, to the shape and dynamics of urban life in this region and in other parts of the world today.

The theme of toxicity thus offers a starting point for a critical elaboration and awareness of oneself and one’s natural, social and cultural environment, ‘as a product of ongoing historical processes, which has deposited in you an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory’ (Gramsci 1971:324).

By focusing on the theme of toxicity, the curatorial committee of this edition seeks to open up a critical space of artistic engagement and reflection to begin to explore the possible forms that this “inventory of traces” might take.


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Photo credit: @ Alain Nsenga


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