The Democratic Republic of Congo has a long history of civil unrest. But on the brighter side, the country has seen great political figures come and go, like the great nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba. One local sculptor Sauveur Mulwana from the town of Butembo in the eastern part of the country, has set out on a mission to carve for peace, immortalizing Congo’s greats.
He creates monuments and statues and donates them to the local municipal governments to install them around the city, as a way of preserving the historical and cultural heritage in the area which is predominantly inhabited by the Nande tribe.
“I arrived with my family in this new city and noticed that it was completely artless, no monuments or art exhibits or anything to symbolize the history of this region. So I embarked on my art projects to generate positive values that inspire the natives of this town,” Sauveur Mulwana.
Mulwana’s inspiration stems from his previous profession as a carpenter, which he was forced to abandon after his projects were severed by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano in North Kivu province.
Among his great pieces of art is a statue of Archbishop Emmanuel Kataliko, a native of Butembo who died in 2000 after repeatedly denouncing the occupation of Rwanda and Uganda by Congolese militias in eastern DRC During the Second Congo War between 1998 and 2003.
DRC is among those African countries where quality creative artists are found in abundance. Congolese art has also had a great impact on the work of world renowned sculptor Pablo Picasso. Observing from ethnic groups, languages, music and fashion, Congo is, without a doubt, one of Africa’s remarkable artistic centers.