Lubunga is an often-forgotten district of Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Located on the Congo river's south bank without any bridges, it is cut off from the rest of the city. Limited resources exacerbate this isolation. The community must fend for themselves without electricity, freshwater or waste management.

Studios Kabako has been helping the community since 2010, starting the Baraka Avenue cultural centre in 2015 and installing a water treatment unit in March 2018. Dessine-moi une Forêt is the next chapter in Studio Kabako’s Lubugamonde project, which uses the arts to channel the energy and creativity of the inhabitants of Kisangani´s most populous but least developed district.

As the forest around the community dramatically recedes due to urbanisation, timber exploitation and slash and burn agriculture, this project educates the district’s younger generations on the effects of deforestation. Artists, scientists and architects lead workshops and a competition that encourages the children of Lubunga to envision their own futures and imagine possible solutions for a sustainable city.

Studios Kabako

Founded in 2001 by the Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula, Studios Kabako promotes the creation of dance, visual theatre, music and film. While promoting Linyekula’s work and research into the performing arts, the centre supports young artists with training and production assistance. Since 2013, Studios Kabako has worked in the Lubunga district of Kisangani to develop community programmes around sustainability and environmental issues.

Faustin Linyekula

Choreographer, stage director and storyteller Faustin Linyekula is the founder and artistic director of Studios Kabako. His work centres on Congo’s history and has been seen worldwide. He is a recipient of the Principal Award of the Prince Claus Fund (2007), the first Prize of the American CurryStone Foundation (2014), the inaugural Soros Arts Fellowship (2017) and the Tällberg/Eliasson Global Leadership Prize (2019).

Virginie Dupray

After graduating from the French business school HEC in 1994, Virginie Dupray worked at the French Institute in London (1995–1999) as head of communication and public relation and at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris (1999–2003) as head of marketing and communication. Since 2003, she has produced various events in the field of dance and visual arts while serving as the executive director of Studios Kabako.