Through Kamuanga’s painting we are introduced to the cultural diversity of contemporary Kinshasa, transformed through an imaginary space of visual symbols and mysterious forms. In one image a woman is dressed in religious attire (Voile, 2014), while another portrays a woman with an elaborate West African hairstyle (Mangbetu, 2014). Kamuanga’s paintings mediate the mass-influence of globalisation on African identity, emphasising the continent’s intrinsic plurality and hybridised cosmopolitanism. A mixture of ancient and modern writings form backdrops for his subjects, which are a kind of visual Esperanto inspired by the communicative strategies of modern advertising. Other references are more personal, such as the woman donning sandals (Elongated Head, 2014), a dedication to the women working tirelessly to secure the welfare of their children in the African metropolis.

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