Theatre and Photography as New Contentious Repertoires of Congolese Women in the Diaspora

Towards Another Politics of Representation of Rape

in African Diaspora
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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and in particular the eastern part of the country, is characterized by a protracted conflict situation and is home to some of the world’s most horrific documented cases of sexual violence against women. For many years now Congolese women in the diaspora have been engaged in initiatives to raise awareness of the sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) of Congolese women back home, addressing the root causes of the conflict and promoting specific peace and conflict resolutions. This article examines ways of protesting using art as a political tool in addressing SGBV in the DRC. In doing so, it highlights two politico-artistic projects by Congolese women activists living in Belgium: Hearth of a mother, a theatre piece and Stand up my mother, a photographic exhibition. This article aims to analyse these particular projects in terms of Tilly’s ‘repertoires of contention’ (2006) as used by activists of the Congolese diaspora in order to make their voices heard.

Theatre and Photography as New Contentious Repertoires of Congolese Women in the Diaspora

Towards Another Politics of Representation of Rape

in African Diaspora

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Figures

  • View in gallery
    Figure 1

    Stele in honour of the women buried alive in MwengaPhoto: Stella Kitoga 2010

  • View in gallery
    Figure 2

    Women of the parish of MwengaPhoto: Mado Chideka 2007

  • View in gallery
    Figure 3

    Members of the organisation called Sisterhood in the village of Miti (South Kivu)Photo: Mado Chideka 2008

  • View in gallery
    Figure 4

    Sculpture dedicated to the victims of sexual violence, GomaPhoto: Mado Chideka 2009

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