Dancing with the Invisible: Everyday Performances under Mobutu Sese Seko
2016. "Dancing with the Invisible: Everyday Performances under Mobutu Sese Seko", Gesture and Power: Religion, Nationalism, and Everyday Performance in Congo, Yolanda Covington-Ward
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This chapter considers the relationship between performance and authority during the postcolonial period under the dictatorial regime of Mobutu Sese Seko. State-scripted dancing and singing, most commonly known as animation politique, became part and parcel of daily life for average citizens of Zaire. The adoration of Mobutu became a civil religion as the ideologies of his regime were reinforced through the everyday performances of the citizens, and through Mobutu’s own attempts to supplant everyday religious practice with performances in his own honor. This chapter examines yet another shift in the relationship of embodied cultural performances to political authority, in particular from the early 1970s to the 1990s. Using interviews and archival documents, this chapter examines the impact of animation politique in three major areas of everyday life in rural Luozi territory: schools, businesses, and churches.
Rapport Annuel, Territoires des Mayumbe, Manianga, Thysville, Luozi
Assorted Missionary Correspondence
Assorted Annual Reports
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Baptist Missionary Magazine
Congo Mission News
Congo News Letter
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Father Masamba, June 3, 2005, Kinshasa, DRC, interview by author and Alain Nkisi.
Tata George Matadi, July 16, 2005, Kinshasa, DRC.
Tata Mbumba, July 21, 2005, Mayidi, DRC.
Tata Tuzolana, July 22, 2005, Mayidi, Bas-Congo, interview by author, Ndundu Kivwila, and Abbe Hippolyte Ngimbi.
Mama Nsafu, September 20, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Tata Nkuku, September 29, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Tata Kimfumu, September 29, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Ma Mayazola, October 5, 2005, Kinshasa, DRC.
Ma Ntima, October 10, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Ne Mosi, October 10, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Ne Tatu, October 10, 2005, and October 23, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Ma Bangoma, October 14, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Tata Nkolele, October 14, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Tata Malanda, October 28, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Tata Yangalala, October 30, 2005, Luozi, DRC.
Pastor Kasambi, November 12, 2005, and July 19, 2010, Luozi, DRC.
Group Members of Groupe Traditionelle Manianga, December 17, 2005, Kinshasa, DRC.
Tata Mukiese, January 30, 2006, and February 18, 2006, Luozi, DRC.
Ne Zole, February 7 and February 9, 2006, Luozi, DRC.
Dr. Mbala Nkanga, July 19, 2007, Ann Arbor, Michigan (informal interview/conversation).
Tata Kizole, July 20, 2010, Luozi, DRC.
Tata Vita, July 21, 2010, Luozi, DRC.
Ma Makanda, July 23, 2010, Luozi, DRC.
Ma Kudia, July 25, 2010, Luozi, DRC.
Ma Kudada, July 26, 2010, Luozi, DRC.
Ma Luzitu, July 27, 2010, Luozi, DRC.