The Congo line

At The New Criterion, Dalrymple compares pre-independence Congolese art with its post-independence cousin and characterizes the former as natural, colonial-influenced, modern, innocent and personal while the latter is urban, post-colonial, perhaps post-modern, political and self-consciously popular. You know which he prefers, of course.

But he also finds optimism in the work of newer Congolese artists like Kura Shomali and especially Kiripi Katembo, whose photographs are “strange and disturbing but aesthetically pleasing (because cleverly composed), as well as a profound commentary on the Congolese condition”.

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