22 March 2012

this bloated past.

At the risk of appearing quite like my grandparents (who used to subscribe to the wholesome magazine called Reminisce), I want to show you all two more links to amazing photographs of Kinshasa's crazy past.

It's fascinating to me.  Almost distorted and disgusting.  This bloated past.  But beautiful and enticing all the same.

First, is this masterpiece of a research blog, Kinshasa: Then & Now.  Last night, I spent hours pouring over the photos.  So many buildings that are barely recognizable but still standing in some sense of the word.

And second.  This retrospective by photographer Jean Depara (1928-1997).
In Leopoldville, later known as Kinshasa, this is taken for the "American way of life", it's cars and fashionable Bills in cowboy outfits, the electric guitars, sax and the music that takes the merengue, the cha cha cha, and above all, the rumba, into a mad dance known word-wide as "Zairian music". The bands of young Kinshasans, each with their own distinctive attire and their female muses, attend frequently the inumerable bars/dancing halls, support a music band here: Franco's "Ok Jazz", another one there: Joseph Kabasele's "African Jazz".  Athletes, proud of their bodies, parade before their admirers at the pool of the Funa sports complex.

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