Menschen in einem Bus
Fotoserie “Moving Kinshasa“ 2017, GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Azgard Itambo

Megalopolis – Stimmen aus Kinshasa

Of Africa's 800 million inhabitants today, more than half will live in cities in 25 years’ time. With more than 12 million inhabitants, Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the third largest metropolis on the continent. The urban reality of the African continent is rarely shown in ethnological museums. The GRASSI Museum of Ethnography focuses on this reality and gives 24 artists from Kinshasa a "carte blanche" to have their voices heard in the museum.

  • DATES 01/12/2018—14/04/2019


In Kinshasa, everything is ART. City or art installation, in the open air, where each inhabitant of Kinshasa plays his or her part or gives his or her "performances" under a scorching sun. Despite the hunger that constricts their bellies, they are there!

Jean Kamba, poet and art critic

carte blanche

The principle of the "carte blanche" changes the rules of the ethnological museum. The exhibition is not shown from the point of view of a European ethnologist; instead, the artists of Kinshasa are themselves conveying their concerns to museum visitors, without filters: Colonial past and its effects, violence, oppression of women, war, corruption, exploitation, environmental destruction, cultural heritage, spirituality, urban everyday life. Traditional sculptures and masks from the Congo appear in many of the contemporary works of art and thus link not only the past with the present, but also the museum's Congo holdings with the metropolis of Kinshasa.

Zwei Kinder sitzen in einer Kugel
Serge Diakota, Installation, Kinshasa Satellit, 2018, GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Mo Zaboli


Participating artists:

Anastasie Langu – Azgard Itambo – Chérie Benga – Danniel Toya – Dolet Malalu – Elie Mbansing – Eunice Kamanda – Flory Sinanduku – Francis Mampuya – Fransix Tenda – Gabriel Lukinga – Géraldine Tobe – Hervey Ngoma – Hilary Balu – Jean Kamba – Jean-Jacques Tankwey – Judith Kaluaji – Louison Mbeya – Mega Mingiedi – Nada Tshibuabua – Olivier Nalumbu – Serge Diakota – Steve Bandoma – Vincent Lombume

Group photo

Neun Menschen vor einem Eingang
9 Künstler*innen in Residenz, Leipzig 2018, Megalopolis – Stimmen aus Kinshasa, GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig, © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Mo Zaboli


Eddy Ekete

Eddy Ekete works primarily as painter and performance artist. He graduated from the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Kinshasa in 2002 and the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg in 2008. He is a founding member of the EzaPossibles collective (Kinshasa, 2003), the artists' collective La Semencerie (Strasbourg, 2009) and the Kinact - Rencontres Internationales des Performeurs (Kinshasa 2015). In his performances he confronts and reflects the urban environment.

Eddy Ekete
Eddy Ekete

Freddy Tsimba

Freddy Tsimba finished his studies in sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa in 1989. During his career he received numerous awards in France and Canada for his famous artworks made of cartridge cases, spoons or keys. His fragmented and provocative expressionist sculptures have been shown at more than 50 exhibitions in Africa, Europe, Canada and China. Assembling and welding salvage materials - here cartridge cases, there spoons - he denounces the tragedies engendered by the war.

Freddy Tsimba
Freddy Tsimba

Partners and Supporters


Media Partner

Further Exhibitions

Further Exhibitions


in Schloss Pillnitz

gelber Kasten mit vier Füßen

Museum für Völkerkunde Dresden

im Japanischen Palais

reich verzierte Holztür mit Fenster

Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

in Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut

Buddha in einem Schrein
To top