The Akademie der Künste der Welt presents the multimedia project Kizobazoba with panels, discussions, fashion performance & music.
Giving value and new purpose to useless items is the crux of “upcycling”, the creative practice of salvaging discarded things and turning them into something new. In this spirit, a special art of dressing that is imaginative and extravagant has developed in the Congolese capital Kinshasa – one that plays with references in an anarchic mix of fabric, patterns and brands. Kizobazoba stands for a specific Congolese inclination toward improvisation; it is both a way of life and a philosophy.
Kizobazoba expands programmatically on this Lingala word ‒ much used in Kinshasa ‒ merging film, fashion design, performance and music in various ways. It is a continuation of the interactive web series Kinshasa Collection, which has engaged with digitality, transnationality and cooperative manufacturing practices through fashion production. Kizobazoba counters stereotypes using media and questions issues around the mutual production of imagery between Africa and “the West”.
For this project, fashion students from the Akademie Mode & Design (AMD) in Berlin and the Institut supérieur des arts et métiers (ISAM) in Kinshasa have created their own collections, which will be presented in a multimedia fashion performance with Congolese and German musicians and performers. The evening is also the launch of the programme axis Festival of Original Fakes, which engages with artistic creativity beyond the parameters of trademark protection or copyright and examines aesthetic strategies which emphatically subvert these concepts.
WENDY BASHI is a Congolese film-maker, journalist, and moderator. She moderated the fashion show of the Kinshasa Collection presented at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and takes part in Kizobazoba as an actor and performer. She lives in Cologne.
ANGE DA COSTA is a Congolese musician and performer based in Berlin. He was musical advisor for Kinshasa Collection, with his music playing a central role in the fashion show. The web series also formed a starting point for an artistic collaboration between Ange da Costa and Lova Lova.
LOVA LOVA aka Wilfred Beki is a musician, performer, sapeur and cultural activist who runs a cultural centre in Kinshasa. As composer, actor and contact person for the sapeurs in his area, he was a key participant in the Kinshasa Collection. He has also developed artistic projects in collaboration with Ange da Costa.
NELSON MAKENGO is a film-maker and photographer. He worked as the second cameraman for the Kinshasa Collection project and was responsible for the direction, camera and script of Théâtre urbain, a film intervention in the larger project.
CEDRICK NZOLO NGAMBOU is a designer and professor at the Institut supérieur des arts et métiers (ISAM), Kinshasa. He was the central contact person for the development and conception of the collections which the students of the Akademie Mode & Design (AMD) Berlin and the ISAM created for Kizobazoba.
LAURA OLDENBURG and MICZ FLOR developed the web design of the Kinshasa Collection along with DOROTHEE WENNER. The three have also previously realised the interactive web project Europoly, which was created for the Goethe-Institut. Oldenburg and Flor are co-founders of Redaktion und Alltag, an agency which specialises in implementing media projects in the areas of political and cultural education.
DOROTHEE WENNER is a film-maker, author and, for many years, active as curator of film festivals like the Berlinale or the Dubai Film Festival. One of her thematic focuses is the examination of relations between Germany or Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Wenner is also director, actor and artistic director of the web series Kinshasa Collection and has taken on the artistic direction of Kizobazoba as guest curator. She lives in Berlin.