Picha Asbl, working on the development of Lubumbashi’s cultural industry

Remaining faithful to its vocation of developing new talent, the Picha association will organise the 5th edition of the Lubumbashi Contemporary Art Biennial in October. The DRC’s vast cultural and artistic heritage in the areas of cultural creation (visual arts, music, performing arts, crafts) is not only valuable, but also represents important opportunities for growth and job creation.

Creative industries lie at the intersection of art, culture, economy and technology. Their development calls for highly qualified people not only in artistic fields, but also on the technical level and in management. A number of basic infrastructures (buildings, means of transport, reliable electricity supply, constant access to ICT, etc.) are still lacking today.

In recent years, the persistent absence of conditions favourable to the existence of a real artistic and cultural market has compelled cultural operators to set up a network fostering the emergence of practices that will improve the situation.
Since its creation in 2008 by a group of artists, the Lubumbashi Contemporary Art Biennial has attempted not only to highlight the pool of new Congolese creators but also to position Lubumbashi as one of Africa’s most creative cities.

Despite the Congolese and African art sector’s lack of structure, this remarkable event draws more and more attention and its format is attracting international interest. After four editions, the Contemporary Art Biennial of Lubumbashi offers broad prospects in the field of tourism in profiling itself as a true ambassador of Lubumbashi. The influx of foreign visitors to Lubumbashi for the 5th edition of the biennial will be an opportunity to measure the impact of culture on the local economy, in particular on the hotel sector. Through creating synergy between the city’s cultural operators, the the National Museum of Lubumbashi, the Institut des Beaux-arts of Lubumbashi, the non-profit organisation Dialogues, the Halle de l’Etoile, and Picha Asbl intend, in association with Palma Okapi Tours, to generalise innovative practices that boost the quality of the sector’s professionals. This imperative of innovation is explained by the fact that a cutting edge cultural scene will export more easily, and will create more independence for artists.

Under the artistic direction of Toma Muteba Luntumbue, the 5th Biennial of Lubumbashi engages the visitors in an amazing visual, narrative and multi-disciplinary experience, a special time of discoveries and for debate on the identity of contemporary art in Central Africa.

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