Galleries: Sapologie Au Congo
"We are too beautiful to fight," is a slogan that has defined the Sapeurs of Brazzaville from their inception, and has helped them to find favour in the eyes of their President Denis Sassou Nguesso. However, depending on who you talk to, the Sapeurs are sometimes seen as "clowns," "distractions," "valuable icons of the BaCongo society" and sometimes "cowards." I started this project trying to trace the beginnings of this phenomena, from its birth in the South of Brazzaville when slaves were returned from Antwerp Belgium with gifts of clothing like jackets, ties, hats, handkerchiefs, leather shoes, and umbrellas. I am hoping to show how these men and sometimes women are able to use a colonial concept of dressing, merging it with their African aesthetic to create a movement that has been said to sometimes prevent war and create a feeling of pride throughout their communities.