The Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris and Marie Finaz Gallery are delighted to present “Sapeurs de Bacongo”, an exhibition of work by the talented Congolese photographer Baudouin Mouanda. He takes us through the Bacongo neighbourhood of Brazzaville to discover the SAPE: Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elégantes (Society of Ambiance Makers and Elegant People), through a series of extravagant, flamboyant photographs. Faithful to “the Art of Elegance” linking the Congo to France, Baudouin Mouanda vaunts the colours of his country, mischievously boasting that “the French may have created the clothes, but the Congolese have perfected the art of wearing them!” The dandy of past times is undoubtedly today’s “Sapeur”.
“It was a moment to thrill to memories of France and history, but the only thing that mattered was the colours, that driving force with all sapeurs: blue, white and red. Here they were only fighting a style war.”