Addis Foto Fest 2012



Jean Depara

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Jean Depara, 1928-1997, was an active photographer from 1954 to 1975 in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaïre -under Mobutu-, formerly Belgian Congo Belge during colonization, Kinshasa was called before 1960 Léopoldville)

1928 : Born Jean Depara in Kbokiolo (Angola)
1948 : Exiled to Matidi, Bas Congo where he married
1951 : He moves to Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) and does several jobs : factory worker in Bata, watch, clock and cameral repairman
1954 : Becomes a photographer and is the official photographer for the famous Zairian rhumba singer Franco (until his death in 1989)
1955-1975 : Night owl, Depara was often in the bars and night clubs of Kinshasa, In gyms, at the sports complex of La Funa and with gangs of "Sapeurs" called "Bill", bad boys dressed up as cow-boys
1956 : He opens his photo studio “Jean Whiskeys Depara” on the famous street rue Kato.
1960 : Belgian Congo gains it’s independance and takes the name of Zaïre (the name of the capital Léopoldville changes to Kinshasa)
1966 : His studio closes ten years after opening to focus on reporting.
1975-1989 : Depara retires from his animated night life and become the government’s official photographer of the Parliament.
1989 : He retires and abandons photography.
1996 : The first publication in the magazine Revue Noire of his work as an “artist”.

1997 : He dies in Kinshasa. (Rép. Démocratique du Congo)


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