Kinshasa | You can’t miss it: huge frescoes have covered these last days the exterior walls of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in the heart of Kinshasa, popular support to prevention messages against the coronavirus and the denial of the disease.
On the sidewalk, students and young artists refine their works typical of the richness of the styles of the congolese school, so popular in contemporary art galleries for exhibitions resounding (Africa Remix in 2005 and Kin Kitoko 2015).
In the vein of the masters of popular painting in congo (Chéri Samba, Moké), one of these frescoes depicts a young woman hidden in the process of washing the hands, “gestures barrier’ which, of course, contain the virus behind prison bars in the background of the table.
Lover of urban culture, Chris Shongo has tapped into the registry of the graffiti to stylize messages in lingala, the language of Kinshasa, next to reasons which were more figurative (the red cross on a virus green spiky necessarily aggressive).
On a dark background and deep as a night equatorial, Prisca Tankwey disperse statuettes on a map of Africa. The young artist draws inspiration from the traditional role of the african sculpture: summoning the gods, to protect the people.
This outdoor workshop is on “24,” which is one of the busiest streets of the largest city in French-speaking Africa (at least ten million inhabitants).
“The goal of this campaign is to fight against the misinformation, show that the disease is real, that the coronavirus that actually exists and that we must all unite to fight this pandemic,” says the director of the Academy of Fine Arts, the artist and professor Henri Kalama Akulez.
“A lot of people are asking what is the importance of an art school in a country. It is at times like this that we demonstrate that we are here and what we can do for our country,” he adds.
Known to Kinshaa as “the Aca”, the school counts among its alumni many of the signatures of the congolese painters contemporary, which are often far removed from his academicism, and subsequently, as today, the young Geraldine Tobé.
Coincidence of urban geography, it is not a point of hand-washing and temperature control, which requires motorists to get out of their vehicle.
This point of sanitary control brand the input and the output of the first epicentre of the epidemic, the commune of Gombe, isolated from the rest of the city since 6 April.
Since the first case reported on 10 march, the DRC has registered 5477, whose 4937 in Kinshasa. There were 122 deaths.
The denial of the disease remains strong in popular neighborhoods, in spite of the messages of prevention that also spin in a loop for each call in queue message broadcast by the mobile telephony operators. “Corona eza te” (there is no corona) is meant, often in the neighborhoods.