Last post!! In my last blog post I will be discussing a broader topic as an overarching ending to my post about African history and wrapping up my close looks into Stromae and his “tous les memes” video!
As mentioned in previous post Stromae is a Belgium rapper so this post will primarily focus on war and conflict within the Congo.The Congo is one of the most written and researched countries in African post their independence because of the strong impact it had on the country. During war conflicts in the Congo aid was offered from Uganda and Rwanda however, this war caused regional conflicts rather than just conflicts between neighboring states. (Byman and Pollack 120). During this time of war the death tolls escalated due to diseases and violence of all sorts, mostly sex crimes committed by United Nations peacekeepers. When taking a closer look into the Congolese conflict, I also learned about the use of child soldiers and mass fleeing from African countries into the Great Lakes region. A source stated that more than 400,000 refugees were from the Congo alone. (Byman and Pollack 120).
Side note, I just want to talk about the impacts of mass migration on a physical, mental and emotion scale for both children and adults. The physicality of moving takes a lot of work and energy out of an individual especially considering factors such as age and/or other previous medical condition. Now onto the emotional strains migration has on a person. I see it as moving away from your culture and community and, for some the only life that they ever knew due to fear and even more fear for what the future holds for you. Lastly, let’s address the long lasting effects and high risk of mental illness these people have. I automatically think of the trauma that these people endured with being run out of there home and torn apart from their family and even what they endured during the travel from one place to another.
When I was doing some research about the Congolese conflict I couldn’t find any explicit connections between the conflict and the video, but after talking about the emotional and mentally I thought about how much of an empowered figure Stromae is, even though he or the video is not directly linked to the conflict. In this video for me, Stromae represents freedom and self agency in the video, he is not influenced by the actions of the other “characters.”
Similar to Stromae, the character in Riva in Viva Riva, that I watched for my African history course shares these similar character traits. Riva some many argue was reckless, but I would argue he lived his life on his own terms.
Check this out!!! Thank you for reading hope you enjoyed! 🙂
Byman, Daniel L., and Kenneth M. Pollack. “Democratic Republic of the Congo: A War of Massive Displacement and Multiple Interventions.” In Things Fall Apart: Containing the Spillover from an Iraqi Civil War, 120-33. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2007. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt1280fm.10.