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Hear Congo October 2015 Roundup

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From Zimbabwe all the way to Harlem, the DRC has received a lot of attention in the art world this past month. Photographer Richard Mosse currently has an exhibition showing landscapes and portraits from the DRC in pink and violet hues, altering perceptions and adding beauty to photos of conflict. “Mosse’s work is simultaneously disturbing and thought-provoking, highlighting the preciousness of human life along with the sheer beauty of the Congo.” In Harlem, a historical movie theater debuted movies from and about the Democratic Republic of the Congo and also held various events to appreciate and highlight Congolese culture. Across the way in Zimbabwe, DRC Rhumba star Koffi Olomide flew in to perform at the exceptional Harare Carnival.

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Another incident occurred that has further increased fears of Kabila prolonging his term – the resignation of the Head of Electoral Commission. His resignation was abrupt and unexpected, displaying which appears to be another tactic used by Kabila to cling to power as long as he can. Prior to this, Kabila’s party launched an attack on demonstrators protesting his constant attempts to stay in office. On the contrary, at the beginning of the month Moïse Katumbi left the ruling party. This is big, because “Katumbi could be the one politician able to mobilize enough votes across the DRC to challenge President Kabila.”

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In international news, the DRC and South Africa met for their ninth Bilateral Commission, and it went well. The two countries made plans to collaborate on economic projects and strengthened ties between each other. One of the main topics of discussion was the Igna 3 dam project – a multibillion-dollar hydro-energy project, that Zuma said will “help turn on the switch to a brighter future for Congo, and the continent.” More multi-country collaboration took place between European and African countries with the hopes of saving and protecting the tropical rainforests of the Congo Basin, which spans across seven African countries. This project is going to be brought up in the UN summit on climate change in Paris this coming December.

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A big project on the home front, a new airline was created in the DRC. Before Congo Airways, flights were only able to be directed by the UN. Transport Minister Justin Kalumba stated that the establishment of Congo Airways is “a recognition of the break from a dark past … to an illustrious future for air transport.”

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