Seminar "Redefining Citizenship and Access to the Public Sphere. Recent African developments in historical and comparative perspective", organized by ASC (African Studies Center, Leiden) location:Leiden and Amsterdam date:October 2004
This lecture analyzes performances of youngsters within the cultural public sphere in Kinshasa. The fun space of theatre is the only platform – literally, a scene – offered to them. Through the body and the indirect sayings of dramatic arts this symbolic space allows them to ventilate their opinions on political, social and moral matters. Although the unmarried young men and women of Kinshasa use music and theatre to express and negotiate their experiences, dreams and grudges, their participation to this zone in the public sphere is not uncensored. In particular, the public sphere realized through dramatized performances is dominated by local churches and foreign NGO’s which function as patrons of this sphere and likewise control the notions of citizenship and progress which are transmitted via theatrical performances.