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Pierre Kwenders reads ESANZO, by Antoine-Roger Bolamba

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  • Art & Society
  • PHI

Poetry and Tea

In this unique video series produced and created by PHI, artists freely explore the interplay between rhymes and sounds, sharing a quiet moment of introspection with us.

"Short, familiar poems, simple and elegant" was how his work was characterized when Congolese author Bolamba published his poetry collection Esanzo, Chants pour mon pays in 1955. In an Africa struggling to throw off the colonial yoke, it took courage to give voice to its culture. Pierre Kwenders, who transcends borders with his compositions in five languages, understands this. In 2015, he won ADISQ’s Music Video of the Year for Mardi gras, dubbed the perfect example of "quasi-experimental pop, testing the improbable – what’s never been done before" by Inrocks. The "never-before been done" – like Bolamba, you might say.

« ce qu'il nous faut c’est l’étreinte solide du bois et du feu »

Antoine-Roger Bolamba

Excerpt read by Pierre Kwenders

"what we need is the solid embrace of wood and fire"

Unofficial translation

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