Somewhere between a scream and a lullaby by Stacy Hardy

Writer’s Brief

Dancer/choreographer Faustin Linyekula of Kinshasa, Congo, is one of the foremost figures in contemporary African dance, acknowledged not only for the power and artistry of his work, but also for his commitment to connecting art to African communities.

He is the founder of  Studios Kabako, a place of education, research, creation and exchange in Kisangani, in the north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo . Employing a wildly cross-genre, multimedia approach, the Studios brings together practitioners in dance and visual theater, music and image to explore new ideas and collaborations both at home and abroad.

His works with Kabako include: “Spectacularly Empty” (2001), “Triptyque sans Titre” (2002), “Spectacularly Empty II” (2003), “Radio Okapi” (2004), “Le Festival des Mensonges” (2005) and conducted various international projects and collaborations with artists from France, Morocco, Ethiopia and Sweden and South Africa.

In 2007 he developed Festival of Lies and The Dialogue Series: iii. Dinozord. In 2007 and 2008, Faustin worked on the staging of La Fratrie errante, a text by Marie-Louise Bibish Mumbu and began work-shopping the explosive More more more… Future with fashion designer Lamine Badian Kouyate (Xuly Bët) and guitarist Flamme Kapaya and his band.

We visit the studios and review his work; its radical aesthetics, technical excellence and ground-breaking artistic strategies.

[Kisangani, the city in the DRC out of which Kabako operate has a long history of revolutionary thinking. It has been home to influential politicians, including the national hero Patrice Emery Lumumba. More recently Ernest Wamba dia Wamba, a senator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a prominent academic and political theorist, operated his faction of the rebel Rally for Congolese Democracy out of Kisangani during the Second Congo War. Is there an opportunity to link/ explore these histories?]

Reading List

  • Studios Kabako Website <>
  • Tansi, S L 2011, Life and a Half: A Novel (Alison Dundy trans , Dominic Thomas intro.). Indiana University Press, Indiana<>
  • Tansi, S L 1996, Parentheses of Blood. Ubu Repertory Theater Publications
  • Tansi, S L 1995, The Seven Solitudes of Lorsa Lopez . Heinemann African Writers Series 1995
  • Tansi, S L 1990, The Antipeople . Marion Boyars Publishers
  • Boeck, F D & Plissart M F 2004, Kinshasa: récits de la ville invisible. Ludion<>
  • Malaquais, D 2011, “Anti-Teleology” in African Cities Reader II: Mobilities & Fixtures, African Centre for Cities & Chimurenga Magazine<>
  • Mbembe, A 2004, “Variations on the Beautiful in the Congolese World of Sounds” Chimurenga Vol. 6: The Orphans Of Fanon
  • Linyekula, F , “Corks and Memories” Studios Kabako<>
  • ‘Franco & le Tout Puissant OK Jazz’ 2008, Francophonic, Vol. 1: 1953 – 1980. Sterns Africa
  • ‘Franco & le Tout Puissant OK Jazz’ 2009, Francophonic Vol. 2: 1980-1989. Sterns Africa
  • ‘Franco & OK Jazz’ 1999, Franco & Ok Jazz,  Retroafric
  • ‘Franco & Rochereau’ 1991, Omana Wapi. Shanachie
  • ‘Franco’ 1984, Franco & His All Powerful TPOK Jazz. Makossa
  • ‘Werrasson’ 1999, Solola Bien, JPS Production
  • ‘Werrason’ 2001, Kibuisa Mpimpa. JPS Production
  • ‘Werrason’2005, Alerte Générale. JPS Production
  • ‘Werrason’ 2009, Simply the Best Of, Falton Records
  • ‘Fally Ipupa’ 2006, Droit Chemin, Sterns
  • Bicarbonate – Arsenal de Belles Melodies 2009, Blu Ray HD Remix, YouTube <>/?p=2318>
  • ‘Koffi Olomide’ 2006, Force de Frappe, Frochot Music
  • ‘JB Mpiana’ 2011, Soyons Sérieux. Obouo Music

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