Mowoso is a Kinshasa-based creators’ collective dedicated to outside-the-box art forms (video, sound, music, dance, performance, electronic networks) and urban hybrid cultures.
Mowoso builds links across diverse disciplines and forms of knowledge and focuses on emergent creative practices: open, participative set-ups, network-driven art endeavours, performative installations, urban in-the-street actions, research and creation workshops… It brings together people who want to share and/or acquire novel ways of conceiving the world and acting within it – artists and thinkers who value their independence, some self-taught and others steeped in knowledge passed on from generation to generation.
Mowoso draws an important part of its strength from ties it bears to an earlier initiative, out of which it grew: a collective called Ghetto Kota Okola (“Ghetto Enter Grow” in the Lingala language). Ghetto Kota Okola was a school of the streets, an experimental space where ideas and practices were confronted, exchanged and transmitted, giving rise to radically new forms of Hip Hop inflected dance, music and visual art. Founded by musicians Bebson de la rue and his brother Dicoco Boketshu, who now runs Mowoso, Ghetto Kota Okala was active from 1994 to 2004. Its home was the two brothers’ compound in Ngbaka quarter, one of Kinshasa’s toughest neighborhoods. Much of Mowoso’s work is done in this same neighborhood, a stone’s throw from the city’s largest marketplace.
At the heart of Mowoso’s work today is video production. One aspect of this involves creating clips for emergent musicians and for artists engaged in experimental practice in the Cité – those parts of the city where the bourgeoisie rarely sets foot.
Several current projects deal with digital globalisation, a subject of particular interest to Mowoso co-founder Eléonore Hellio. A platform for online collaboration and publication is currently under construction. In all of these contexts, Mowoso is engaged in exchanges with like-minded artists and collectives in DRC and beyond. Among its main current partners are the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa and SPARCK.
At the moment, Mowoso is developing a platform for further activity in the Congolese city of Mbandaka, with a focus on highlighting arts and cultures of the Equator province of DRC. It is in the city of Mbandaka, located astride the Equator, that Mowoso launched Ground | Overground | Underground, one of its most ambitious projects to date, in August 2009.
Founding members: Dicoco Boketshu, Eléonore Hellio, Djo Vince Bombolo, Naneth Ebeus, Cédrick Nzolo.
Acting members: Bebson de la rue & Trionyx, Wemba, Zea Michel Ange, Bienvenu Nanga, Wingi Lopona Bilongi, Love Lokombe, DJ Angletto, Antoine Mofilinga, Mabele Elisi, Pisco Ewango, Laba, Sylvie Luwawa, Blaise Ebeus, Thomas Lucas, Christian Botale, Charles Tumba.