Sapeurs de Bacongo | Brazzaville, 2008 Photo 0

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Black Dandies Sapeurs de Bacongo | Brazzaville, 2008

Sapeurs de Bacongo | Brazzaville, 2008

La Sape — the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People — is a Congolese movement dating back to the late-19th century. What began under colonialism has survived as a symbol of resistance, outlasting war and oppression. Sapeurs wear tailored, elegant clothing and compete in fashion battles, as well as adhere to a gentlemanly code of conduct. “White people invented the clothes, but we make an art of it,” said the legendary Congolese musician Papa Wemba, known as le pape de la Sape (the Pope of the Sape). This photo shows Sapeurs gathering to honor the memory of a late friend.

Photo:
Baudouin Mouanda