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Artiste / Colin Delfosse

Mbuas #5 // Kinshasa // 2010

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Mbuas #5

In 2010, Democratic Republic of Congo was celebrating in great fanfare its 50 years of independence celebration. The occasion for DRC and its president to show the world – and to his former colonial authority – the evolution of its politic called « cinq chantiers» which in transport takes a big place. Before the arrival of plentiful of state leaders, all the roads of the capital sustained a big cleaning: Principal boulevard was completely renovated for the occasion. But if Joseph Kabila can boast of bouncing back the main axis of circulation of the capital, he couldn’t hide the genuine identity of Kinshasa’s inhabitants: the « foula foulas ». These heteroclite vehicules, made with diverse parts can transport population from disctrict to disctrict. Banned from circulation in town during the previous week of the celebration, they are however the « nervous system » of Kinshasa. The more you pull away from downtown, the more you can see them completely ramshackle. In the district of Ngili, Massina and Matete, these vehicles from 3rd, 4th or even 5th generation are nicknamed "Mbua’ " (which means dog in Lingala). The problem of transport is not new. In the 70’s, while several wars are tearing up the country, the modest (ex-) Leopoldville is transforming into sprawling megalopole but most of the road infrastructures are completely destroyed and new districts simply deprived of roads. To reduce this problem of nonexistent public transport (due to ramping corruption) more and more vehicles are imported and Kinshasa - as many other African capitals - is transforming little by little in a nest of all rolling wrecks of Europe.

Colin Delfosse

Based in Brussels, Belgium, Colin Delfosse is a freelance photographer and founding member of the Out of Focus collective. Working on personal long-term projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African region and post-Soviet states, Delfosse combines NGOs field assignments with Brussels-based missions and being the photo editor and founding member of the Belgian investigative magazine Médor. His work has been shown during festivals such as les Rencontres d’Arles, Paris Photo, Circulation(s), Lagos Photo Festival, Brussels Summer of Photography and screened at Visa pour l’Image; and won several awards: POYi Award of Excellence, Nikon Press Awards, PDN Photo Annual Awards, Sony World Photography Awards. Delfosse regularly works with The New York Times, Le Monde, Les Inrocks, The International Herald Tribune and Jeune Afrique.
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