Gosette Lubondo
DRC
Born in 1993 in Kinshasa (DRC), Gosette Lubondo has been inspired since childhood by the work of her father. As a photographer, she quickly became interested in studio photography and artistic practice. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa in 2014. She has presented her work at various group exhibitions such as: Lady by Lady (Kin ArtStudio) 2014, Seven Hills (Kampala Biennial Art) 2016, Heliotropism, (Collection si Particulière) Arles 2017, Eblouissement (Lubumbashi Biennale), National Museum of Lubumbashi 2017, Stories (African Business Forum) Egypt 2017. She also participated in Training and Artistic residency including: The Photographic Residences of the Quai Branly Museum, Paris 2017, Photographer’s Master class, Goethe Institute (Bamaco, Khartoum, Nairobia) 2015/2017, Creative Photography with Africalia, Dakar 2017, EZA Voyage à Kinshasa (Collective Eza Possible), Kinshasa 2013 Gosette is inspired by her everyday environment, including the spatial and individual remains that surround her. She explores the intersection between the present and the past, questioning the evolution of site memory. Her images are a testimony of the history of human life and its traces.
Imaginary Trip
‘Imaginary Trip’ artistically translates the urge to travel, to transcend the fixed and inherited settings of Kinshasa urban reality. In staging herself in a train wagon, Gosette Lubondo renders mobile what has been left declining throughout the years and stopped at the promises of travelling exaltation. Originally a colonial enterprise, the first train railway in Congo was built between 1890 and 1898, at the cost of around two thousand lives. It was linking the capital city Kinshasa – formerly known as Léopoldville – to the east port of Matadi. Nowadays, that connection still runs. However, the country is not well served by train lines and it remains very difficult to travel around the country. Opening up to a new mobility paradigm, this serie discloses “an awareness of the mobilities of the past” (Cresswell, T., 2011). Gosette went on an exploration that she has made her own. Taken in the city’s depot for degraded trains, these pictures provide an insight into a global mean of transportation and offer a discourse on Congolese people’s relation to it. In a time that is faced with the need of “reimagining a new policy of mobility which implies internal migrations, formations of new diasporas, linkages with old ones, and a redirection of energies” (Mbembe, A., 2013), Gosette’s visual interpretation of mobility aligns with that need, displaying how artistic practices can contribute to the issue of african mobility. Hence, she addresses political concerns, congolese citizens’ will of individual emancipation (through mobility) and the left heritage on which rests any attempt to come up with a coherent and inclusive policy on the matter. Framing her representation of mobility within an old train wagon, Gosette nonetheless emphasises the fact that mobility is first individually experienced. In juxtaposing a concrete symbol of mobility and travel – i.e. the train – with personal embodiments of self-realisation, she reminds us that moving is external as much as it is internal. The statutory state of that old wagon that will never be set back on rails contrasts with the subject’s act of inhabiting and envisioning this space. Gosette Lubondo is the agent of her own travel. Daring to imagine is crucial in this process. Mobility is foremost an affair of the mind, a mind that oscillates between past, present and future, and which projections might one day turn to be tangible.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.