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Porteuse de vies de Freddy Tsimba - Don du Manège de Chaillot à Chaillot -Théâtre national de la Danse
Porteuse de vies by Freddy Tsimba. Gift of Manège de Chaillot to Chaillot - Théâtre national de la Danse.

Freddy Tsimba: a monument for peace

24 September 2019

The work of the Congolese sculptor (DRC), Freddy Tsimba, highlights the challenges of human rights in Africa. His monumental work of art, Porteuse de vies, was chosen to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.

Born in Kinshasa in 1967, Freddy Tsimba is an artist-sculptor from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He’s a graduate of the prestigious Beaux-Arts de Kinshasa, and a world reknown artist with various international awards and collections. Since the mid-1990s, Freddy Tsimba specialized in the recovery of metallic and mainly war materials - sockets, chains, pieces of shells, and machetes - to transform them into monumental works and to make the Congo conflict resonate while addressing issues of universality, life and survival through his art.

After a selective process around the world, it is Porteuse de vies, his monumental work, which was chosen to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. Porteuse de vies became, at the same time, the first work of art to enrich the decor of this institution since 1937.

"By his commitment, as an artist, but also as a citizen, Freddy Tsimba sounded like a good choice for me", justifies Patrick Jeantet, president of Manège de Chaillot, a French endowment fund that decided and orchestrated this strong signal represented by the presence of Freddy Tsimba’s work in the same place where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed on December 10, 1948.

"What can I say about this work? It is the cry of a human who proclaims loudly that life has no price; that life is here, on earth, and that it must be preserved, "says Freddy Tsimba about Porteuse de vies, during an interview with the french leading radio channel, France culture.

"From everywhere, black woman or white, I pay tribute to my grandmother, to my mother, it is a universal woman, who tries in her way to resist, I always tell myself that in times of troubles, in times of wars, it is women who suffer the most. And this is an opportunity for at least once to talk about the rights of women. I would even say the rights of man, woman and children.”

"It is the body of a woman without a head, because universal, arms cut, thighs perforated, but standing, with an open book in his valid hand" adds the visual artist.

Porteuse de vies is made of 20000 cartridge cases collected on the fields of wars that weaken and plague the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than two decades. Porteuse de vies represents an imposing body that is culminating at more than 4 meters of height carrying the knowledge - represented by more than 4000 keys recovered in the fractured streets of Kinshasa - as we carry life.

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone's rights are undermined, so I will stand up
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

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