Interviews door Sinzo Aanza: #8 Bebson de la Rue

Tentoonstellingszicht ‘Een gesprek tussen collecties uit Kinshasa en Oostende’ (episode 1): Bebson de la Rue (c) Kristien Daem

Sinzo Aanza is cocurator van de tentoonstelling ‘Een gesprek tussen collecties uit Kinshasa en Oostende’. Hij interviewde acht kunstenaars die leven en werken Kinshasa en wiens werk in langdurige bruikleen in Mu.ZEE aanwezig is. De gesprekken gaan voornamelijk (gedeeltelijk) door in het Lingala omdat dit de kunstenaars toelaat op een vrijere manier te spreken over hun werk. Voor de vertaling werkt Mu.ZEE samen met Universiteit Gent. De acht interviews zullen allemaal beschikbaar worden gemaakt via deze blog.

# 8: Bebson de la Rue

English:

00:00    We are Congolese, Zaireans, 00:02
00:03    born and raised in Zaire. 00:07
00:07    Then the country changed its name, 00:09
00:09     and became Congo. 00:10
00:11     Previously the country was called Congo, 00:13
00:13     and we are now continuing as ‘Congo’. 00:14/
00:15     I myself 00:16
00:16     am called ‘Personne de la rue’, 00:19
00:20     who loves women. 00:21
00:21    Very beautiful women, 00:22
00:22     who are clean, who are tidy, 00:23
00:23     who know how to cook, 00:25
00:25     sweet, friendly. 00:27
00:28     In short, the real Congolese girls. 00:29/
00:30     High priest, 00:31
00:31     real priest, 00:32
00:33     despite the worldly pleasures 00:34
00:34     of which I’m attached… 00:35
00:36     … to 30%. 00:37/
00:38     Here we are working 00:40
00:40     in a studio. 00:41
00:42     We make everything here. 00:44
00:45     But to belong, it’s essential that 00:46
00:46     everyone plays his role in this world. 00:48
00:49     The role of this place is 00:50
00:50     to be a musical workshop. 00:51
00:52     Here we make musical instruments 00:54
00:54     and sounds. 00:56
00:57     We shape children, 00:58
00:58     babies, adults. 00:59
01:00     Lullabies, but also violent sounds, 01:02
01:03     dreamy sounds, 01:05
01:05     and sad sounds. 01:06
01:06    We make sounds for films, 01:08
01:08     master tapes.  01:10
01:10     And many other things. 01:13
01:13     This is a musical workshop. 01:14
01:14     The material that you see here, 01:16
01:17     is not aimed at maternity clinics. 01:19
01:19     Hospitals have their own materials. 01:20
01:20     These are not for that purpose. 01:21
01:21     These are more aimed at carpenters , 01:23
01:21     bricklayers, electricians, 01:25
01:25     farmers, those sorts of people. 01:27/
01:28     Before, actually, we 01:29
01:29     sung songs about this. 01:30/
01:31     We sang: 01:32
01:32:   Where we had to sow, we sowed. 01:35
01:35     To survive. 01:37
01:37     Like the plants that you see here: 01:39
01:39     all these vegetables, these tomatoes and so on. 01:42
01:43     This flag for example is a leaf. 01:44
01:44     Like the plants. 01:46
01:46     The difference being that this is plastic. 01:47
01:47     It’s actually the same, 01:48
01:48     because plastic, clothes, 01:50
01:50     rubber and those sorts of things 01:51
01:51     come from plants. 01:52
01: 52    Like the plants that we’re growing here. 01:57
01:58     So we plant where we have to 02:00
02:00     to be able to survive. 02:01
02:01     And also, everywhere that it’s dirty, 02:02
02:03     we’re going to clean, 02:04
02:04     for our honour and our salvation. 02:07
02:09     That is what we advocate. 02:10
02:11     This country is Congo, 02:12
02:12     our native country, 02:14
02:14     where so many intelligent people live. 02:15
02:16     Our ancestors were intelligent 02:19
02:19     and achieved amazing things. 02:20
02:20     Now it’s our turn. 02:22
02:22     We continue what we have learned from them, 02:29
02:30     namely that everyone has a role to play. 02:31
02:33     Our role is to make music. 02:34
02:34     This is what we like doing. 02:35
02:35     Singing, dancing, 02:37
02:37     we do everything. 02:38
02:38     And we also make 02:40
02:40     musical instruments. 02:41
02:42     Because there have been occasions 02:45
02:45     when we needed instruments, 02:46
02:46     but we didn’t have any. 02:47
02:47     How can we play music then? 02:49
02:49     We had to make the instruments ourselves. 02:50/
02:50     The quality was the result of our artistic ingenuity, 02:54
02:54     our own assessments, 02:55
02:55     always in search of what is good for us. 02:58
02:58     Our conclusion was that 03:01
03:01     we had to make our instruments ourselves 03:03
03:03     before being able to play. 03:04/
03:05     This for example is a drum from an aquarium. 03:09
03:09    And it goes like this… 03:10
03:11     I can for example play something like this … 03:12
03:23    So that is the drum. 03:24
03:25     Then we also have guitars. 03:26
03:27     This here, for example, is a guitar, 03:29
03:29     with a hard sound. 03:31
03:33     I play it with my heart. 03:34
03:48     Here we have a freshly made tambour…. 03 :58
03 :58    We collect 03 :59
04 :00    planks, iron wire, 04 :01
04 :01    plastic objects. 04 :02
04 :03    We make sure that there is a musical scale in it, 04 :04
04 :05    by using the same kind of musical strings 04 :06
04 :06    that you would find 04 :07
04 :07    in modern, Western instruments: 04 :08
04 :08    guitars and synthesisers. 04 :09
04 :09    The same strings 04 :11
04 :11    to be able to play accurate music. 04 :13/
04 :15    We make all kinds of things 04 :16
04 :16    that, for example, we send to Lusanga 04 :17
04 :17    or elsewhere 04 :19
04 :20    where we have partners. 04 :23
04 :23    Because relationships with others are important. 04 :28
04 :28    The instruments that we make 04 :30
04 :30    are our contribution 04 :31
04 :31    to the development of the world. 04 :32
04 :32    For our own assurance in the world. 04 :33
04 :33    That our products help our brothers 04 :35
04 :35    but also other people … 04 :38
04 :38    who could need them. 04 :42
04 :42    This creates exchanges between us. 04 :45
04 :46    We ourselves draw upon the help of others. 04 :47
04 :47    A lot of materials that we use here, 04 :48
04 :48    come from elsewhere. 04 :49
04 :50    And our products also go to others. 04 :52
04 :52    It’s about exchanges. 04 :53
04 :53    That is it, exchanging with people 04 :54
04 :54    with whom we enter into relationships. 04 :55
04 :56    It has always been our wish 04 :57
04 :57    that our products help other people. 05 :00/
05 :00    But beyond them, first and foremost 05 :02
05 :02    for ourselves, to survive. 05 :05
05 :05    We do our work for … 05 :07
05 :07    Here I have 05 :08
05 :08    chickens, tortoises and so on. 05 :09
05 :09    I breed animals. 05 :10
05 :10    I live together with the animals  05 :11
05 :12    in their natural environment. 05 :13
05 :13    When I play music, 05 :14
05 :14    my tortoise comes closer. 05 :15
05 :15    That gives me pleasure. 05 :16
05 :16    It is as though it interests the tortoise. 05 :18
05 :18    But ultimately I work for people, 05 :23
05 :24    from wherever, who are interested in my work 05 :27
05 :27    and can get something from it.  05 :28
05 :29    If they would like to thank me 05 :31
05 :32    with a simple money transfer 05 :33
05 :33    via Western Union or another way, 05 :35
05 :35    or just by saying ‘thank you’, 05 :36
05 :36    or ‘may God help you’, 05 :37
05 :37  all that I would gratefully receive. 05 :39

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