You may already have heard about Lisapo – The Congolese Tales (a project I’ve been working on for the past year), but here is a bit of background information about the project. Lisapo is a Congolese heritage programme organised by CommunityArts North West – a Manchester-based community arts organisation that regularly work with Congolese artists and Musicians. The project is split into two parts: phase one is the oral history part; Lisapo has recorded the stories of 29 Congolese nationals living in Greater Manchester; the transcript and audio recordings of these interviews will be archived at Manchester Central Library, The North West Sound archives as well as a number of universities in the UK.
Phase two is the live event that will take place on Saturday 28th June (to coincide with the Congolese Independence day – June 30th) at Band on the Wall in Manchester. The event will feature a live musical oratory put together by writer and director Cheryl Martin with assistance from a number of Congolese and non-Congolese music professionals. The show will be performed by volunteer participants from various backgrounds. There will also be an appearance from the Sapeurs – (the infamous Elegantly dressed persons of the Congo), as well as live VJing. The night will end with a celebration party, which will include a DJ and a buffet of Congolese food.
The project is the first of its kind in the UK. There has been no official documentation of the Congolese community in the UK despite the large presence of the Congolese people here. We would like this legacy to live on and encourage you all to spread the word so that we can have the archives in as many institutions as possible.
The event on the 28th will be live-streamed with commentary in both French and English so please do tune in if you can click here for the link
You can read a more extensive commentary on the project here in this article published in the New Left Project.
If you have any queries about the project or would like to host the archives please email the Project Manager Peggy Mulongopeggy@can.uk.com
You are invited to visit the Lisapo website where you will find a number of articles and interviews, as well as extracts of the oral histories (these are in English, French and Lingala with translations)