History 241African Popular Culture


Assignment: Write a 3-5 page paper on an aspect of the message in Tshibumba Kanda Matuluís 100 paintings on the History of Congo/Zaire. Focus on a limited number of specific paintings, and clearly identify the paintings under discussion in the paper.


An excellent paper:

        demonstrates careful consideration of Tshibumba Kanda Matuluís work.

        contains arguments based on specific paintings (and other specified sources, if you wish to add them), not on generalizations.

        has original ideas and is thought-provoking.

An excellent paper also

        has a clearly evident one-sentence thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. This statement of the paperís argument is systematically developed in each succeeding paragraph of the body of the paper, and summarized in a concluding paragraph.

        uses active voice, andavoids contractions and informal language.

        notes all references to sources consistently followingany standard form of citation.


Please give a letter grade to the following partial outlines of papers on the topic.

PaperOne Ė Mobutu vs. Lumumba

Thesis statement: Matuluís portrayal of Mobutu and Lumumba show that he actually thought Lumumba was a good ruler and Mobutu was a bad ruler.

P1. Painting xx and xx of Lumumba, show him in a natural environments, paintings xx and xx of Mobutu, he is painted against a void.

P2. Painting xx, showing Lumumba as a Christ figure.

P3. Painting xx and xx of Mobutu, no people in the picture, he is ruling over nothingness.

Conclusion: Although Tshibumba Kanda Matulu must have been constrained by the power of Mobutuís police state from saying what he really thought, the way he painted Mobutu, in contrast with the way he painted Lumumba, show that Matulu does not like Mobutu and he did think Lumumba was the right leader for Congo.

Paper Two -The Meaning of Art in Zaire

Thesis statement: We can see from the art in Remembering the Present that the people of Zaire have suffered a lot and the artist knew this.

P1. Tshibumba Kanda Matulu painted paintings that show he lovedpeople and felt their pain.

P2. Paintings of war, violence, shooting and people dieing evoke emotions of sorrow and rage at colonialism in the mind ofthe viewer.

P3. The artist was proud of Africa, which you can see in the paintings of chiefs and village life.

Conclusion: People ought to know more about the artists of Africa.

Paper Three: The Dark Weight of Forced Labor in the Art of Tshibumba Kanda Matulu

Thesis: Tshibumba Kanda Matuluís stark, empty pictures of mines, factories and urban spaces convey a criticism ofthe materialism and inhumanity of Belgian colonial rule.

P1. Painting xx,and xx, ofxx mine and xx factory, are bleak, desolate, and have no people, only massive structures designed for the extraction of wealth.

P2. In contrast, paintings xx, and xx, of precolonial Zaire, all have people, and objects in the paintings do not dwarf the people.

P3. Paintings xx, and xx, of the future, indicate the ambiguity Matulu feels about industry.

Conclusion: Matuluís paintings of industrialized life are paintings of oppression.

Paper Four: Tshibumba Kanda Matuluís 1970ís Art Predicts the 1990s War

Thesis: The problems Matulu portrayed in his history of Congo are all being repeated now.

P1. Paintings xx, xx, and xx show fighting over controlof copper and diamonds, like the present war.

P2. Paintings xx and xx show how women and children suffer most in war, also like the present

P3. Paintings xx, xx, and xx show the crucial role of mercenaries in wars in Congo, also happening now.

Conclusions: Tragically, Matuluís main theme ofthe sacrifice of the masses for the ambition of their rulers,

is being enacted in Congo over again in the present war.