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/ WINNER : HEALING THE VOID AWARD

 

/ ARTRAKER BIENNIAL AWARD

/ AYDIN MATLABI, CANADA

Aydin Matlabi

Artraker Biennial Awards 2017

CONFLICT AREA / COUNTRY OF REFERENCE: REPUBLIC DEMOCRATIC OF CONGO

There are presently 8 million orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project We are the Heritage, places a face and identity to the orphans, preventing them from just being a number. With this lattes project that was built in collaborating with the orphanage Bumi in DRC I represent who is an orphan. With a studio style photography approach, I photographed the orphans from Bumi. Each orphan was wrapped in the traditional fabric called Pagne. The Pagne is representative of the culture, power, heritage and fashion of central Africa. By wrapping the orphans in the Pagne, I replace the power and culture on a physical being, therefore representing the orphans as the culture, power, heritage and the future of DRC.

 

The irony of the Pagne is that the patterns and fabric was imposed by colonial rule to make sure locals do not adopt and dress with European styled fashion. Congolese adopted it for their own cultural identify, after European decolonization. The major distributor of Pagne is Belgium, the same old colonizer and the cheaper versions, that are mass-produced, come from China. No Pagnes are actually produced in central Africa. Every Chinese Pagne can feed an orphan for one month. Every Belgium Pagne can feed 12 orphans for a month. (DRC imports 25 million dollars of textiles per year)

 

 

 

Aydin Matlabi, 

We are the Heritage

Photo series

 

 

 

© Artraker CIC 2017

/ VIDEO PORTRAIT

Aydin-Matlabi