Statue of Loss

CCB programme
18 > 19 November — 9pm
CCB, Small Auditorium

© Andreas Etter
© 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