In the east of Congo, art is being celebrated as a transformative force. Activists claim art making is a revolutionary act, citing Yole!Africa’s legacy as compelling evidence. At the same time, humanitarian and charitable organizations also recognize the potency of art making for its healing and educational effects. From a distance, these claims appear congruous, but in Goma tensions are rising as campaigns designed to capitalize on art as a vehicle of sociopolitical change are torn between local demands of resistance and global demands of capitalism. As a well-established cultural center that fosters sociopolitically engaged art making, Yole!Africa is the frequent target of collaborations with humanitarian and charitable NGOs in their popular practice of producing music and films. Through descriptions and analyses of the politics of production behind a number of such projects, the chapter reveals the profound influences the spectacle of humanitarianism inflicts on art and culture in conflict zones.
Keywords: humanitarianism, Congo conflict, African world war, NGO, Peace One Day, Enjoy Poverty, Amani Festival, Yole!Africa, Friends of the Congo, Enough Project, human rights, Manfred Max-Neef, Petna Ndaliko
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