My project was birthed in response to my experiences
in North Kivu, Congo. I describe the town that I had visited as a
bright and vibrant yet spooky place placed on the fringe of a rainforest
with a backdrop of scenic hills and mountain views. Despite its beauty
and potential, this area has been unable to clear a choking carcinogenic
cough of conflict that it has had since the mid 90’s.
As a young woman, who was born in the Congo, I am interested in
exploring the relationships between Congolese women and the Congolese
land, particularly considering gender-based violence has been at the
forefront of blood-mineral fuelled armed conflict. I am also
interested in identity and the relationships that the women of the
Diaspora have with the land. I liken the land to the women, by
drawing on themes and ideas present in patriarchal society that both
objectifies and contends the notion of ownership of both land and women.
In doing so, I explore these ideas through language focusing on
words such as ‘Nzela’ – a Lingala word which can be translated to a
line, curve, path, boundaries, the way, wrinkles, borders, gap; which
individually hold a wealth of different and sometimes conflicting and
contradictory meanings & connotations.