i Created this 2.30sec documentary called
“I Aspire to be…!”
I am using photography of two cultural objects to explore the ideals, the images and political stance we aspire to be.
On the left side are images of Congolese (sapeur- to be cool) dressed in European attire (western suites, bowties, canes, etc.) SAPE: Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant People. At the beginning of the 19th century when the French colonized the Congo, the myth of the Parisian elegance was born among the youth of the Bakongo ethnic group, who were working for the colonizers. The influence of white supremacy, capitalism has been internalized to the point that the white man was and is considered superior, someone showing better manners and elegance.
In 1922, Grenard André Matsoua well-known for his resistance to the settlers, was the first Congolese ever to come back from Paris dressed as a genuine French “Monsieur”,. His arrival caused indescribable commotion and admiration among his fellow countrymen; he became known as the first Grand Sapeur.
Sapeurs revolution is fashion. When the Sapeur expresses himself through the harmony of his clothes, he is returning his admiration to God.
They are pacifist and do not shed blood. They are the opposite of the older generation who speak of African authenticity, anti colonialism and Marxism.
On the other side are murals of Latino/as revolutionaries in Latin America.
Revolutionaries from Nicaragua to
I am having the two cultural objects speak to each other about what people are revering and the impact of colonialism in where people stand in that conversation.
To the People of Mexico:
We, the men and women, full and free, are conscious that the war that we have declared is our last resort, but also a just one. The dictators have been waging an undeclared genocidal war against our people for many years. Therefore we ask for your participation, your decision to support this plan that struggles for work, land, housing, food, health care, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace. We declare that we will not stop fighting until the basic demands of our people have been met by forming a government of our country that is free and democratic.
JOIN THE INSURGENT FORCES OF THE ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY!
General Command of the EZLN
December 31, 1993