Friday, 14 July 2017

DEM REP CONGO: Makwacha Art Village Festival Held Last Sunday Of August In Katanga Province

Makwacha is located in Katanga, at the South West of Lubumbashi. It is one of the youngest villages in the Katanga and was established in 1988 by two chiefs: Makwacha and his cousin Lumbwe.

Since 2008, an increase in tourist activities has resulted from this new interest in the hut painting.

Makwasha became the village where the women paint.

At the beginning of the dry season women, exclusively, paint their houses using natural pigments. “Kushiripa” is a living tradition.

It consists of plastering the walls of the huts with some water mixed with clay. The walls of Makwacha tell both the tradition of this village and its modern life.

The walls of the Makwacha village in the Democratic Republic of Congo tell the story of both its tradition and modern life.

Women in the village are known for their beautiful art of painting their houses using natural pigments especially at the beginning of every dry season.

A few years ago, the director of the French Cultural Center in the country came across painted houses along the route he was travelling in which made him to ultimately stop.

Thanks to this painting, it allowed us to go to Paris and expose our works of art.

I believe that in the future maybe it can pay well, there will be other projects that will come, said the village head, Jean-Pierre Kabaso.

From the monumental paintings, photographs and videos that were presented to the Parisian public, the women artists were able to raise 60,000 dollars.

As a result, the village was able to have direct access to drinking water for the first time in history giving them more time to fully devote themselves to their incredible artistic skills.

The traditional painting practice has lured artists, journalists, tourist activity and NGOs in the area.

Though many tourists are scared to travel to the country, following the ongoing political and security situation that has cost the lives of thousands of people.

Congo is vast. If there is war in the north, it is at 4,000 kilometers, but in the south there is no war.

There are people who go to Israel, where there are bombings, bombs and all that.

But they’re going for tourism activities, thousands of them go there, said Isaac Sumba Maly, the General Director of Okapi Palm Tours.

In a move to attract more tourists in the region, a construction project is underway of painted houses to accomodate the visitors during their stay in the village.

The Makwacha Art Village Festival also takes place every last Sunday of the month of August of every year.

For the first time, an exhibition of the work of the women artists has been staged in Paris.

Ancestral symbols, flowers and stylized animals, mythological characters, but also trucks, rockers… 12 monumental paintings, photographs and videos were presented to the Parisian public.

This exhibition is the result of a commitment of more than five years from the African Artists for Development (AAD), an organization chaired by French patrons Matthias and Gervanne Leridon, to the women’s community of Makwacha.

With the help of the ADD, the village is enjoying, for the first time in its history, a direct access to drinking water.

The ADD project named “Women for Water” and launched in March 2009 strives towards three goals: the access to drinking water by the drilling of three wells; the recognition of the role of women and the valuation of the artistic tradition of mural paintings.

Today, the women of Makwacha own the wells, manage a resource that is vital for the village and can devote more time to their incredible artistic skills.

Makwacha is now a “tourism destination area” in the province of Katanga. Do not miss the Makwacha Art Village Festival which takes place every last Sunday of the month of August of each year.

Getting there: Road to Kasumbalesa – 13th village on the national highway No. 1 from Lubumbashi including Kashamata, Kasamba, Kanyaka, Belabela, N’singa and Kitubula. 41 km from the Zambian border



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