Shinkolobwe’s abstraction (2022)

Sammy Baloji
Shinkolobwe’s abstraction
15 250g white matte coated paper laminated on 3mm Dibond
89 x 89 cm each
Archives from Pedro Monaville Private Collection and Center for the Archives of Communism in Belgium (CArCoB), Brussels Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès, Paris


Sammy Baloji’s photographic and sculptural assemblages braid together the pre- and post-colonial histories of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by examining the industrial and cultural heritage of the Katanga region. Shinkolobwe’s abstraction (2022) is an installation comprising historical documents and archive-based evidences of the competing interests of the Soviet Union and the United States to gain access to the Belgian Congo uranium in the 1940s and 1950s in Shinkolobwe, the largest uranium resource in the world. It parallels this history of resource exploitation with the generation of student activists, whose revolutionary thinking to decolonise the country is charted in Pedro Monaville’s recent book Students of the World (2022).