THE ART OF FASHION THAT ADDRESS DR CONGO’S TRASH CRISIS
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All images by Stephan Gladieu
Communicating solutions through creative art and creation is a kind of noble gesture that indicates the creative thinking ability of artists. This shows that artists aren’t just drawing or painting, they are people equipped with creative problem solving ability. This exclusive inventive creative project by Stephan Gladieu as a fashion documentation of Congo’s trash crisis in Homo Detritus caught my attention.
Democratic Republic of Congo is facing a trash crisis in some parts of the country as a result of improper recycling and the growing plastic and waste problems that have chucked in their native land. Following this development, a legion of creative artists in Kinshasa, DR. Congo has banded together to fashionably address the situation. Photographer and reporter Stephan Gladieu captures the effects and climate-change consequences that the locals experience and consumerism fuels according to Designboom website, as written by Matthew Burgos. ‘Ndaku, life is beautiful’, is the art collective founded by the creative visual and performance artist Eddy Ekete, spins discarded cell phones, plastic, corks, synthetic foam, inner tubes, fabrics, electric cables, syringes, capsule boxes, car parts, cans, and other trash pieces into full-body suits, armors, and costumes to fashionably advocate the urgent attention that developing countries needs following the brutal challenges that they are facing as a result of their mountainous plastic and waste dilemma.
The creative minds put together rubber sandals and slippers form waterfall imagery as patched razorblades protect the wearer like a knight’s armor. Steel and aluminum cans and lids get flattened to be transformed as gauntlets. Old radio and sound players are stacked together to create a robot suit. Thrashed plastic bags dangle and sway as they get sewn together for a flowy dress. Vinyl records are gummed on each other before it can be dressed in and becomes a DJ mascot. The congregated waste might look visually appealing at first glance, but the work creators have invested heavily in designing these works describe the penetrating aftermath of consumerism that heavily affects Kinshasa, and other cities across the world.
Stephan Gladieu documented the art movement of the Kinshasa creatives in his exclusive series Homo Dètritus, indicating that it was Eddy who created the first suit, inspiring the young artists around him. According to Stephan Gladieu, as quoted by Designboom website, ‘The collective welcomed me for two weeks to carry out this artistic project, which is a continuation of my work. I remained faithful to my photographic bias by choosing to make the portraits in the streets of Kinshasa, with the setting and characters responding to each other. The street is the common history of these artists, and their collective organizes street performances to raise awareness of the authorities and the inhabitants.’
The exclusive result emerges as a documentary that stressed out the effects of the waste crisis the country is facing and the significance of the immense creativity that the young artists and creatives ooze. The discarded materials they used united the creatives to come up with an inventive way of letting their viewers be aware of the sentiments and the deprivation they had to go through in the process of these creations.
Name: Homo Detritus
Photographer: Stephan Gladieu
Movement: Ndaku, life is beautiful
Founder: Eddy Ekete
Edited by MJ for Buildace Magazine