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Mabele Eleki Lola, the earth more beautiful than paradise. Freddy Tsimba


SKU in-koli-jean-bofane Category Tag


Co-published by Kate'Art Editions and Africalia asbl in collaboration with the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren (Belgium)

Under the pen of In Koli Jean Bofane, Freddy Tsimba encounters death, known as "Liwa". It takes place in a dungeon during the war in Kisangani. They talk to each other. The artist negotiates his life, but above all his work, because he creates new figures, bearers of life and peace. As the traditional "Great Blacksmith", Freddy Tsimba transforms the metal of conflict (shells, machetes) into raw material. Women, children and men are sculpted from the shells he risks his life to collect on the battlefields, or from scissors salvaged from hospitals. Sometimes, the artist remelts and transforms this war-tainted material, as in his Rescapés series. These intense works echo traditional African masks.

For the two artists, it is imperative to get rid of false promises. The Earth is definitely above all else. Tsimba's monumental works interact with objects from the collections of the Africa Museum, Tervuren, Belgium. The artist pays homage to the work of the blacksmith and classical sculptors.

Texts : In Koli Jean Bofane, Pascal Blanchard, Henry Bundjoko and Bogumil Jewsiewicki

Technical data

The edition is in 2 languages: Dutch and French
Format: 29.5 x 19 cm - 144 pages - hardback cover
Number of pages: 154 p.
Price: €36.00
ISBN : 978 2 87575 266 6
Publication date: 28 October 2020


Catalogue of the exhibition "Mabele eleki lola! La terre, plus belle que le paradis" at the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium, in collaboration with Africalia, from 29.10.20 to 21.02.21. Exhibition on the Congolese artist Freddy Tsimba curated by the renowned Congolese writer In Koli Jean Bofane.

The exhibition is a dialogue between the museum's ethnographic pieces (works of classical African art) and Tsimba's powerful work. He uses raw materials that he collects himself, risking his life: shell casings, chains, hospital scissors, machetes and so on. All these salvaged objects have been used and have a fascinating charge. The urban artist expresses his concern about the fate of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and bears witness to present-day issues such as the arrival of refugees. The scope of his work is universal: street children, violence against women, the omnipresence of religion and revivalist churches in the lives and survival of his contemporaries.

Freddy Tsimba (1967) was born and works in Kinshasa, DRC. A leading figure in contemporary African art, he has exhibited in Kinshasa, Brussels, Basel, Paris and elsewhere.

In Koli Jean Bofane was born in Mbandaka in the DRC (1954). He lives in Brussels. He has received numerous awards for his novels Congolese mathematics (2008), Congo Inc. Bismarck's Testament (2014) and La Belle de Casa (2018) published by Actes Sud and is preparing his new novel Cannibal nationone of whose main characters is Freddy Tsimba.

Further information on the exhibition:

Additional information

Weight 750 g

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