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The city of Kinshasa and its liberation architectural spaces are here embodied through a journey of a woman that walks alone through the ghosted spaces of history. The spaces represented in the film build on heritage built before and after the wars of independence to signal the appropriation and resignification of power dogmas and canons of beauty and Hellenistic aesthetics through the presence and the protagonist of the black woman. Absent from the history books and official narratives, their constant presence in the city here becomes a monument body. She also embodies the representation of duality and otherness in a game of similarities and differences in natural and architectural environments, where ruin and resilience project us into a terrain of social reinvention. 

The Tour de l’Échanger, is a protagonist in this film, a tower in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was once one of the tallest in Africa at the time of its construction (1970 - 1974), designed by Franco-Tunisian architect Olivier-Clément Cacoub at the request of dictator Mobutu as a tribute to Patrice Emery Lumumba, the leading leader in the struggle against Belgian colonial domination. Its shape is a mixture of architectural signs that turns between skyscraper, pyramid, and citadel, which seems to express a desire for power. Cacoub was also responsible for Gbadolite, considered by many to be the Versailles of the Congo, as well as many other projects in French-speaking Africa before, during, and after the independence wars. The tower has not been completed for several decades and was recently completed with Chinese money.

Monuments are erected to fix symbols, to enhance the memory of events and characters that made history from the perspective of power. They are made in a solid way to convey the immutability of glory and make these narratives last for generations. Buildings are also monuments erected to embody worldviews and to organize our way of being and apprehending time and space. The beauty film suggests another category: the body-monument. The city of Kinshasa here becomes a kind of decolonial theater with its own dramaturgy, characters, social actors, narratives, in which the dynamics that animated and still animate the relationships that are perpetuated in contemporary times with references to the past and the construction of the present, of the philosophy of aesthetics are explained. in relation to the city, and who questions who we are in this play?

Director Biography - Mónica de Miranda

Mónica de Miranda is a Portuguese artist of Angolan origin who lives and works between Lisbon and Luanda. Artist and researcher, her work is based on themes of urban archaeology and personal geography. She works in an interdisciplinary way with drawing, installation, photography, film, video, and sound, in its expanded forms and in the boundaries between fiction and documentary. She graduated from Visual Arts and Sculpture from Camberwell College of Arts (London) and Ph.D. in Artistic Studies from Middlesex University (London). In 2016, she was nominated for the New Photo Bank Prize, exhibiting as one of the finalists at the Berardo Collection Museum. Among her exhibitions, her participation in these exhibitions stands out: Architecture and Manufacturing, at MAAT in Lisbon (2019); Panorama, Banco Económico (Luanda, 2019); Doublethink: Doublevision, Pera Museum (Istanbul, 2017); Daqui Pra Frente, Caixa Cultural (Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, 2017-2018); Vila Franca de Xira Biennial Photography (2017); Dakar Biennial in Senegal (2016); Bienal de Casablanca (2016), Addis Foto Fest (2016); Encontros Fotográficos de Bamako (2015); MNAC (2015); 14ª Bienal de Arquitectura de Veneza (2014); Bienal São Tomé e Principe (2013); Estado Do Mundo, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (2008). She is one of the founders of the Hangar project (Artist Residency Centre, Lisbon, 2014).

  • Year
  • Runtime
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Mónica de Miranda
  • Screenwriter
    Mónica de Miranda
  • Producer
    Ana Vieira
  • Cast
    Featuring - Cymthia Malenga Adobiya, Titina Saidi Zongwe, Sonoplastia
  • Sound Design
    Soundlikenuno (Chullage)