Statue of Loss
18 > 19 November — 9pm
CCB, Small Auditorium
- © Andreas Etter
On October 13, 1923, Firmin Leclercq, president of Congolese Volunteers, wrote to Paul Panda Farnana, war veteran, first Congolese double degree holder from Belgium and France, and founder of the Congolese Union, saying he was aware of the latter’s desire for the erection of a monument, at the mouth of the Congo River, in honor of Congolese veterans of the First World War. Seven years later, Paul Panda Farnana died under mysterious circumstances, thus unable to complete this project. Faustin honors the memory of African soldiers who fought in the last century in the two World Wars. Through words, letters, official reports and a barely decodable recording, miraculously retrieved from a prison camp in Germany, they strive to write the story and put a face and name on some of these veterans, some 30 Congolese soldiers, enlisted to fight in Belgium for a nation that had enslaved them. One hundred years later, what remains of the memory of these men sacrificed in the Belgian war, far away from their homes, in Europe, and also on the African continent? What will be their place in the events and celebrations marking the centenary of the dirty war? What recognition will be given to their sacrifice and their brothers’ some twenty years from now if not the ghost of a monument that never existed, a headstone, a statue of loss, a rumor?
Artistic direction: Faustin Linyekula; With Faustin Linyekula + 1 guitarist; Video: Pathy Tshindele, assisted by Okele Baya; Production: Studios Kabako – Virginie Dupray; Coproduction: Theaterformen Braunschweig-Hanover, LIFT – London, 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions.
Tickets: Stalls €15 / Laterals €12,50; Usual Discounts + CCB Membership /Cidade Aberta; 40 minutes