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Jean Depara

Born in 1928, Kboklolo, Angola
Died in 1997, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where he lived and worked 



Depara came to photography almost by accident. To record his wedding in 1950 he bought himself a small Adox camera—after which he never ceased to seek out new subjects for his lens. Settling in Kinshasa in 1951, Depara first combined his photography with various small jobs: repairing bicycles and cameras, dealing in scrap metal. In 1954 the celebrated Zairian singer Franco invited him to become his official photographer, launching Depara’s career as a chronicler of Kinshasa social life in the era when the Rumba and the Cha Cha defined the city’s rhythm.  He set up a studio under the name Jean Whisky Depara and spent his days in bars like the Kwist, the OK Bar, or the Sarma Congo. At night he hung out at such clubs as the Afro Mogenbo, the Champs-Elysées, the DjamboDjambu, the Oui, the Fifi, the Show Boat.  Night owls particularly fascinated him and with his flash Depara captured an Africa stripped of conventional social codes.  Interracial couples, hipsters, and those who in imitation of James Dean chose to “Live fast, die young” became both his subjects and his clients.

Among Depara’s themes in his photographs are the Miziki who have such a powerful role in Kinshasa society.  These associations of women were rooted in pre-independence traditions, and a Moziki (singular form of Miziki) could act as a banker within her social circle.  In the 1950s and 1960s, Miziki associations took such names as La Pause and La Mode, and commissioned famous bands to compose songs for their annual events.

Depara died leaving his archive of hundreds negatives untitled; with the permission of the artist’s family, his close friend Oscar Mbemba has titled the works in the spirit of this era.  

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PUBLICATIONS

Beauté Congo - 1926-2015 - Congo Kitoko

Steve Bandoma,

Bela,

Pierre Bodo,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Kura Shomali ,

Monsengo Shula,

Pathy Tshindele,

Beauté Congo - 1926-2015 - Congo Kitoko

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Author : Textes de Thomas Bayet, In Koli Jean Bofane, Michael De Plaen, Frédéric Lomami Haffner, Nancy Rose Hunt, Jean-Christophe Lanquetin, Elikia M'Bokolo, André Magnin, Dominique Malaquais, Pedro Monaville, Bob W. White et entretiens avec de nombreux artistes
Editor : Édition Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris
2015

PRESS


Mama Casset,

Jean Depara,

Omar Victor Diop,

Malick Sidibé


La Gacilly : Un été africain en photos

Paris Match

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By Corinne Thorillon

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17.08.2017
Download: PDF

Mama Casset,

Jean Depara,

Seydou Keïta,

Malick Sidibé


L'Afrique vue de l'intérieur au festival photo de La Gacilly

France Info, Culture Box
-
05.06.2017
Download: PDF

Jean Depara,

Omar Victor Diop,

Seydou Keïta,

Malick Sidibé


L'Afrique prend la pose au festival photo La Gacilly 2017

France Info

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By Laurent Filippi

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03.06.2017
Download: PDF

Jean Depara,

Seydou Keïta


Photographie et automobile à la Fondation Cartier

Madame Figaro

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By Anne-Claire Meffre

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11.05.2017
Download: PDF

Jean Depara,

Seydou Keïta,

Malick Sidibé


"Autophoto", une liaison artistique exposée à la Fondation Cartier

RFI

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By Siegfried Forster

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20.04.2017
Download: PDF

Jean Depara


Mille et un portraits exposés à Vichy cet été

Vogue
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10.08.2016
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Omar Victor Diop,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

André Magnin,

Abu Bakarr Mansaray,

JP Mika,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Kura Shomali ,

Pathy Tshindele


Marché de l'art : voici l'Afrique contemporaine

Le Huffington Post

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By Jérôme Stern

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09.08.2016
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Omar Victor Diop,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

JP Mika,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Kura Shomali ,

Pathy Tshindele


Marché de l'art: voici l'Afrique contemporaine

Huffington Post

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By Jérôme Stern

-
09.08.2016
Download: PDF

Jean Depara


Tous les Portrait(s) sont à Vichy

Photo Magazine

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By Alexis Sciard

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11.07.2016
Download: PDF

Jean Depara


Portrait(s) | Edition N°4

Trajectoire
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12.05.2016
Download: PDF

Jean Depara


4ème Edition du Festival Portraits, à Vichy, du 10 juin au 4 septembre

Publikart

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By Bénédicte de Loriol

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08.04.2016
Download: PDF

Pierre Bodo,

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Romuald Hazoumè,

Seydou Keïta,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

George Lilanga,

Gonçalo Mabunda,

JP Mika,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere,

Malick Sidibé


Arts : les 100 Africains les mieux cotés

Jeune Afrique
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11.01.2016
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Pierre Bodo,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Monsengo Shula


Fondation cartier traces the creative spirit of the democratic republic of the Congo

Designboom

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By Suhei Senda

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19.12.2015
Download: PDF

Bela,

Pierre Bodo,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Moke,

Monsengo Shula


On Art In Africa by André Magnin

Crash

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By Armelle Leturcq

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15.12.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke


Congo, ce laboratoire de l'impossible

L'Officiel Art

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By William Massey

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15.12.2015
Download: PDF

Jean Depara,

Seydou Keïta,

J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere


Paris Photo 2015 : du grand classique

Culture Box

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By Valérie Oddos

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12.11.2015
Download: PDF

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko


Beauté Congo 1926-2015, Congo Kitoko : la dernière expo de la Fondation Cartier à ne pas manquer !

Artsper blog

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By Hélène Planquelle

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05.10.2015
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Albert Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Monsengo Shula


La beauté du Congo se dévoile à Paris

Sept Info

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By Sylvie Rantrua

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03.10.2015
Download: PDF

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Ambroise Ngayimoko


Congo Power

Diptyk

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By Marie Moignard

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01.10.2015
Download: PDF

Pierre Bodo,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke


Le Congo en beauté à la fondation Cartier

Libération_Bondy blog

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By Abdoulaye Gassama

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26.09.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Monsengo Shula


La rumba, bande-originale des mutations de la société congolaise

Le Monde

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By Véronique Mortaigne

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24.09.2015
Download: PDF

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Albert Lubaki,

Moke


Explosión de belleza en Kinshasa : 90 años de arte congoleño

El País

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By Beatriz Leal Riesco

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03.09.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Albert Lubaki


Beauté Congo _ 1926-2015

Télérama

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By Y. Y.

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02.09.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko


Beauté Congo : loin des clichés, la fabuleuse créativité de l'Afrique

France TV1ère Outre-Mer

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By Philippe Triay

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01.09.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

JP Mika,

Moke


Trésors congolais

Marianne

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By Frédérique Briard

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28.08.2015
Download: PDF

Pierre Bodo,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Albert Lubaki,

Moke


La beauté Congo s'exhibe à la Fondation Cartier

L'Humanité

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By Diémé-Sagna Yancouba

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26.08.2015
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Kura Shomali ,

Monsengo Shula,

Pathy Tshindele


A Paris, le Congo en toute liberté

Le Temps

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By Laurent Wolf

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14.08.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

JP Mika


Les artistes africains contemporains prêts à conquérir le monde

Le Parisien

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By Antoine Froidefond

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10.08.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara


Fondation Cartier's showcase of Congolese art

Financial Times
-
07.08.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

JP Mika,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Pathy Tshindele


París repasa la transformación artística del Congo

El Mundo
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04.08.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Albert Lubaki


Total CONGO

Marie-Claire

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By Natacha Wolinski

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01.08.2015
Download: PDF

Pierre Bodo,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Kura Shomali ,

Monsengo Shula


Expo : oh le beau Congo !

Huffington Post

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By Jérôme Stern.

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31.07.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Monsengo Shula


Showcasing Congolese Art

International New-York Times

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By Rachel Donadio

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28.07.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Albert Lubaki,

Moke,

Monsengo Shula


De la brousse à la ville, la grande mutation des artistes congolais

La Croix

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By Sabine Gignoux

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27.07.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Kura Shomali ,

Monsengo Shula,

Pathy Tshindele


90 ans d'art congolais à Paris : quels talents !

Gala

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By Juliette Serfati

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26.07.2015
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Monsengo Shula


Congo Vision: A Homeland As Its Artists Render It

The New-York Times

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By Rachel Donadio

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25.07.2015
Download: PDF

Pierre Bodo,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Albert Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Kura Shomali ,

Pathy Tshindele


Un certain regard

Jeune Afrique

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By Séverine Kodjo Grandvaux

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19.07.2015
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Bela,

Pierre Bodo,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Kura Shomali ,

Monsengo Shula,

Pathy Tshindele


De la colonie belge à la RDC, splendeur de l'art congolais

Le Monde

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By Philippe Dagen

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18.07.2015
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Monsengo Shula


Auf der wahren Karte der Welt liegt Europa unten

Die Welt

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By Von Johannes Wetzel

-
17.07.2015
Download: PDF

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Kura Shomali ,

Monsengo Shula,

Pathy Tshindele


L'art contemporain en Afrique. Voyez Beauté Congo (1926-2015), à la Fondation Cartier

Evous

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By André Balbo

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13.07.2015
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko


Beauté Congo : le dynamisme de l'art congolais

TV5 Monde

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By Amélie Revert

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12.07.2015
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Pathy Tshindele


La vitalité des artistes du Congo embrase la Fondation Cartier

Quotidien de l'art

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By Roxana Azimi

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11.07.2015
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

JP Mika


Expo Congo à gogo

Madame Figaro
-
10.07.2015
Download: PDF

Steve Bandoma,

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Monsengo Shula


On se laisse emporter par

ELLE

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By Caroline Six

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10.07.2015
Download: PDF

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Albert Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Monsengo Shula


Congolese Art in Full Color

The Wall Street Journal

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By Tobias Grey

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10.07.2015
Download: PDF

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Kiripi Katembo,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Kura Shomali ,

Pathy Tshindele


Afrique-Art contemporain : passion Congo

Le Point Afrique

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By Valérie Marin la Meslée

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09.07.2015
Download: PDF

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Kura Shomali ,

Pathy Tshindele


Passion Congo

Le Point

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By Valérie Marin La Meslée

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09.07.2015
Download: PDF

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Chéri Chérin,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Antoinette Lubaki,

Albert Lubaki,

JP Mika,

Moke,

Ambroise Ngayimoko,

Kura Shomali ,

Monsengo Shula,

Pathy Tshindele


Beauté Congo

The Wall Street International Online
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18.06.2015
Download: PDF

Bela,

Chéri Samba,

Jean Depara,

Bodys Isek Kingelez,

Albert Lubaki,

Antoinette Lubaki


Kinshasa, le grand atelier

Art Passions

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By Bérénice Geoffroy Schneiter

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01.06.2015
Download: PDF