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Kouka Ntadi: Between Graffiti, Urban art [Culture]

The Morning Call

Urban Art, graffiti or vandalism…About 30 years ago the answer seemed clear, but lately opinions differ as more and more impressive graffiti is being done in the streets the world over.

While some people equate street art with graffiti and vandalism because of its illegal nature, depending on whether it can be done without the approval of city authorities, others see it as a more unpredictable and creative form of expression that integrates so-called street art to bring a new dimension to what is perceived and to convey the message of the voiceless.

And if there is one person who has become a promoter of urban art, it is Kouka Ntadi, a Franco-Congolese painter who has been painting on public spaces, braving the norms of classical art and even local authorities for many years, as can be seen in these images he’s painted. He calls it the Bantu warrior. But why the Bantu warrior?

I'm not here to give an absolute vision of things. For me there is no absolute reality.

“The Bantu Healer is a work that I started in 2008. The idea was to recreate a mythology through a character inspired by ethnological images from the colonial period. Bantu in Kikongo means human being and so it corresponds to humanity through this healer. There are three concepts that are important to me, there is the concept of freedom, the concept of respect for life, and there is the concept of transmission.”

The artist was invited to the ‘‘EMBRACING’‘ exhibition at the American University of Paris. It’s an exhibition that promotes black culture through painting and sculpture in French society.

“For me it’s the opportunity to talk about important subjects. It just so happens that the exhibition takes place in Paris, in France, so we’re not used to talking about ethnic communities, as in the United States, where under the guise of uniqueness it’s difficult to talk about these subjects. As part of the one fifty that took place in Marrakech, we had to inaugurate an exhibition at the Montresso Foundation, located 30km from Marrakech, the subject of this exhibition was the Congo river”, Ntadi said.

Our Cedric Sehossolo has this story on this week’s edition of ‘‘This is Culture’‘ on The Morning Call.

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The Morning Call

The Morning Call is about you. We want to share your opinions on our programme. If you want to contribute to The Morning Call, here are the best ways to get in touch : For more details on how to contribute, click here.