Night falls in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and thousands of cheap, portable LEDs turn on. Since electricity lines are cut, people must improvise solutions for lighting the darkness. Three separate screens reveal the precarious situation of a population suffering from political unrest and battles between street gangs: a woman with a cable in her hand, a lamp seller, people listening to the news on a portable radio… In the background, we hear the sound of the generator providing the precious electricity. A notable display of the resistance on the part of a population reinventing light faced with an invisible government.
NELSON MAKENGO (Democratic Republic of Congo, 1990). Director and artist living in Kinshasa, and whose work swings between contemporary art and filmmaking. He graduated from the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Kinshasa in 2015 and trained at Fémis in Paris. He was one of the 10 Congolese artists shortlisted in 2017 for the Atelier Pucha and the Biennale de Lubumbashi. With E’VILLE (2018) he was awarded Best Documentary prize at the Ruanda Film Festival, and his most recent work, UP AT NIGHT won the Best Documentary Short prize at IDFA 2019. His photographic installations have been exhibited at Videobrasil Biennial, Lubumbashi Biennale, Musée International des Arts Modestes and at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris.