Baloji, Sammy


Congolese, b. 1978; lives and works in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo


In his 2006 series Mémoire, Sammy Baloji appropriated images found in the photographic archive of the Union Minière du Haut Katanga (The Mining Union of Upper Katanga), which was active during 1930s-era Lubumbashi, a formerly prosperous copper-mining city in southern Democratic Republic of Congo. In each photomontage, figures of the past populate expansive landscape panoramas of the now-desolate industrial cityscape. Bringing these two time periods into dialogue, Baloji makes plain the underlying rupture between the comparative prosperity of previous lives under colonialism and the current hardships faced by the contemporary Congolese economy. His multivalent compositions are among the first artistic photographic reflections on the parallels between the past and the present of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Artworks by Baloji, Sammy

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