Congo In Harlem Spotlights The DRC’s History, Politics & Culture Through Film

Harlem film series spotlights Congolese cinema, history, politics and culture in New York City.

For the next week, an iconic Harlem movie theater will shine a spotlight on Congolese cinema with a series of films, exhibits, panel discussions and events centered on the DRC's history, culture and politics. Now in its seventh year, Congo In Harlem kicked off last night at Maysles Cinema with a screening of Roger Jamar's 1950s stop-motion cartoon The Palavers of Mboloko followed by Congolese animator Jean-Michel Kibushi's short documentary about Jamar, "the pioneer of African animated film."

"As the global community becomes increasingly aware of the tragedy in the Congo, it is paramount that they also be exposed to Congo's rich and vibrant culture," Friends of the Congo's Carrie Crawford and Maurice Carney write. "Congo in Harlem taps into Congo's greatest resource and potential; its people and culture, and offers the Harlem community in particular and the global community in general the opportunity to experience the depth, diversity and wonder of Congolese life and culture."

Some other highlights this year include screenings of Kristof Bilsen's Elephant's Dreams documentary on public sector workers in Kinshasa, the U.S. premiere of emerging Congolese filmmaker Wendy Bashi's Rumors of the Lake, Angèle Diabang's documentary on Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege and Bram Van Paesschen's Empire of Dust doc on the relationship between the head of logistics for a Chinese rail company and his Congolese translator.

Congo In Harlem runs through October 25 at Maysles Cinema in New York City (343 Malcolm X Blvd). Head here for a full schedule of events. Keep up with Congo In Harlem on TwitterFacebook and their official website


11 Rwandan Artists You Should Be Listening To

Musicians like Bushali, Kivumbi King, Rita Ange Kagaju, and Alyn Sano have been putting their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

The current landscape of modern Rwandan music is more dynamic than ever before, from updated versions of traditional folk sounds to the recent 'KinyaTrap' phenomenon that has permeated playlists across the country. For decades, Rwandan airwaves have been dominated by international hits — and by a handful of established Rwandan superstars — but now, as the country continues to develop and diversify, so does its musical setting, with new and different sounds ascending from the hills. The past five years have seen the emergence of an army of young artists eager to reclaim their languages (Rwanda has four official languages) and identity, interlacing their music with influences that stretch far and wide.

Here are 11 artists that have emerged in the past five years to put their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

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