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

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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