Extraordinary and powerful kingdoms are widely celebrated in Africa--from ancient Egypt and Benin, to those of Kush and Bakuba
, to name just a few--and they have all played a part in the shaping of Africa today.
Two bomb blasts kill 29 in the Iraqi town of Bakuba
Using a diary of a filmmaker in the Congo in the 1930s, he shows the extent to which the BaKuba
participated in shaping their images in these films and, especially, in understanding the power of representation.
3) This two year experiment in producing missionary films in Central Africa on the eve of the World War Two broke new ground for its technical quality and provided a rare look into the life-world of the BaKuba and other African communities from a missionary perspective.
While as late as the 1890s the BaKuba still jealously guarded their seclusion with success, in 1900 Congo Free State forces invaded Mushenge to bring the kingdom under the sway of Leopold's government.
45) Thus, the Garners' access to certain areas was restricted, and permission to film in most local villages had to be carefully negotiated with local chiefs, as the BaKuba were known for their attachment to the surviving remnants of traditional power.
The BaKuba clearly appreciated and understood the power of visual representation, and the king was possibly thrilled that moving images of the kingdom were making it out to the broader world for the first time.
Why would I want to spend $4m on a Matisse applique when I know his appliques were largely inspired by Bakuba palm fibre tapestries from the Congo?
Matisse displayed his collection of Bakuba tapestries at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1938.
Second left, Catherine Karl in "Queen Congo" woven from palm fibre by Bakuba women in Congo.
Back row, from left), Ephiphany shows an outfit of Mali mudcloth combined with hand-woven Bakuba palm fibre tapestries and bone jewellery, created for the 1995 African Heritage tour of Germany and Austria.