In the words of Congolese painter Chéri Samba: ‘This painting comes from the people, concerns the people, is aimed at the people.’ He and other artists are important chroniclers of everyday life and political events in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The exhibition Congo Stars shows the wealth, special features and lines of tradition of locally oriented, popular painting from the 1960s to the present day from the Africa Museum in Tervuren and from Austrian collections.
The Congolese writer resident in Graz, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, created an imaginary location in 2016 by the name of Tram 83. While this place proceeds from the reality of Congolese cities, it could nonetheless be almost anywhere – including Graz. This book forms the starting point for the Congo Stars exhibition.
This connects recent contemporary art from the Congo and representatives of ‘Art Populaire’ to a similarly imaginary panorama of social, political, religious and other dynamics. Tram 83 and Congo Stars merge into one delirium as it were – the visual power of pictures, the driving pulse of the Congolese rumba.