A touch of Kinshasa at Kanal


People interested in the Congo and its capital Kinshasa are in for a treat, with the Kinshasa (N)tóngá exhibition at Kanal – Centre Pompidou.

The exhibition is subtitled Between Future and Dust and shows Kinshasa’s evolution, which is referred to as “informal” through use of the word (N)tóngá, meaning “needle” or “construction site”. Archival materials and original works thread the needle through the ages as Kinshasa comes to be the city it is today, and even offer possible visions for the future.

The nineteen featured artists include talent from both Europe and Africa, such as photographer Sammy Baloji and artist Prisca Tankwey on the Congolese side and documentary maker Dirk Dumon and anthropologist Filip De Boeck on the Belgian side.

Before coming to Brussels, the exhibition was shown in Kinshasa itself at the local Academy for Fine Arts in March 2022. It is part of a bigger Belgian-Congolese collaboration called Living Traces, connecting Kinshasa and Brussels through various artistic projects between March 2022 and March 2023.

For the record, like the exhibition that it houses, Kanal - Centre Pompidou is itself currently under construction? While "Kinshasa (N)tóngá" is located in K1, a facility on Avenue du Port, the museum is preparing for a grand opening on the other side of the canal, in a building built in 1933 that used to serve as a Citroën garage.

Time to discover this free exhibition for yourself!