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Lucie Kamuswekera's embroideries

Threads of the history of RD Congo

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The exhibition

From May 23 to December 7, 2024, the Afromusée presents an exceptional exhibition highlighting the works of Congolese artist Lucie Kamuswekera.

Through her evocative illustrations, she explores the traumas of the colonial past as well as the scars left by the wars that have for decades torn apart this great country in the heart of the African continent. But beyond the tragedy, her works celebrate the resilience and strength of Congolese women. As Professor Bogumil so eloquently said: "At the worst of tragedy, it is always women who not only allow society to survive biologically, but also to reconstitute itself socially and morally."


On her embroideries, the artist powerfully tells the complex and tumultuous history of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), while highlighting the crucial role of women in the survival and resilience of Congolese society. By embroidering images on used burlap bags, she illustrates the history of the region and attempts to explain the historical roots of the violence that ravages it today.

The exhibition comes to life through the words of the artist herself: “I started embroidering when people started dying.” These words resonate deeply at the heart of the exhibition, highlighting the intimate connection between art and human experience, even in the darkest periods of history.

This exhibition is an invitation to reflect on the transformative power of art and human resilience. It is also an ode to the capacity of art to bear witness to history, to heal the wounds of the past and to inspire hope for the future of the DRC, Africa and all humanity. whole.

Who is

Lucie Kamuswekera, originally from Loutu, in the Lubéro territory, in North Kivu in the DRC, was born in 1944. Her childhood took place at the turn of major historical events, notably the end of the colonization of the Congo and numerous other African countries. During her youth, she learned the art of embroidery in a colonial missionary school.

As a teenager and young woman, she experienced the tumultuous transition from the end of Belgian colonialism to the independence of the Congo.
The 1990s brought considerable upheaval to her life, particularly with the start of the First Congo War in 1996. This period was marked by years of violence and armed conflict in the region where she grew up.

In 1997, her husband was killed while going to the fields, leaving Lucie traumatized and forced to flee to resettle as a widow and internal refugee in Goma where she lives until today. It was there that she reconnected with embroidery, using this art as a means of subsistence and expression in the face of the past and current tumults of her country.

His career is remarkable in the Congolese artistic world, largely dominated by men. Her elaborately embroidered works offer an insightful analysis of the current conflict in eastern Congo, highlighting violence against women, international intervention and the complex relationship between violence and the exploitation of natural resources.

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