A “Modern” Urban Society and Its Representations: Popular Painting in Kinshasa (Congo), 1960–2000.

By Bogumil Jewsiewicki

A « modern » urban society and its representations : popular painting in Kinshasa (Congo), 1960-2000.

The author analyses the characteristics and mutations of how the self and the society are represented in paintings found in the living-rooms of the Kinshasan petite-bourgeoisie. Intrinsically masculine, these visual representations have evolved according to the economic, political and social contexts from which they originated. The themes of history co-exist with the portraits, that celebrate the individual. Recently, chronicles of the realities of daily life shaken by violence replaced the images of memory of past events. Today, as outside public spaces (such as the street or places of worship) have replaced the living-rooms as a preferred place of self-expression, the presence of paintings has a diminished importance in the representation of the self.


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