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Modern Congolese Iconography of Patrice Lumumba in A Congo Chronicle

Title:

Modern Congolese Iconography of Patrice Lumumba in A Congo Chronicle

Burdick, Brittany (2018) Modern Congolese Iconography of Patrice Lumumba in A Congo Chronicle. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the traveling exhibition A Congo Chronicle: Patrice Lumumba in Urban Art, mounted by The Museum of African Art, in New York, NY in 1999. The art in the show portrayed Patrice Lumumba (1925-1961) as an enduring heroic figure, who has now taken on religious significance since his death. Lumumba is cemented in the political discourse of an independent Africa, as such he is portrayed in A Congo Chronicle, as a symbol of national unity, political freedom and human rights; a cult of personality has arisen around Patrice Lumumba which can be seen through the continued use of his image as a political rallying point. This thesis examines the role art has played in solidifying Lumumba as a symbolic figure in the Congolese political landscape and the significance of popular paintings in the Congo. This thesis also explores how A Congo Chronicle is demonstrative of the importance of religious iconography in Congolese culture with imagery such as origin stories, Mami Wata and the representation of Lumumba as Christ. It further contends that in the Congo popular paintings focus not only on aesthetics but just as fundamentally on social discourse. By considering the examples of the origins of popular paintings, their place Congolese culture, the portrayal of Lumumba as a Christ-figure and the continued use of his image in political discourse it becomes apparent that the memory of Lumumba has taken on mythic proportions.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Burdick, Brittany
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:1 September 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Igloliorte, Heather
Keywords:Congo, Patrice Lumumba, Popular Painting, A Congo Chronicle, Zaire, Mobutu, Belgian Congo, Modern Art, African Art, Congolese Art, Democratic Republic of the Congo, African Independence, Genre Painting
ID Code:984475
Deposited By: Brittany Joy Burdick
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 15:01
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 15:01

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