The mystery of the Sape photo exhibition, which was described as 'African Congo, where the civil war continues'

There are two countries in Africa named 'Congo',

the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire until 1997). Are both countries still in a state of civil war? I feel exaggerated. The big civil war that could overthrow the government at that time was over. Neither Congo is a civil war country like Syria or Yemen, where the nation is not functioning properly at this time.

Hello, this is Takuya Suto @ Chariderman who went around the world by bicycle . The Republic of the Congo ran by bicycle. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has not been visited without a visa. If someone asks, 'Did Congo travel?', Give such an explanation. Because the two Congos are different countries.

◆ Sape
Recently, the fashion called 'SAPE' , which is seen in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (hereinafter referred to as 'Democratic Republic of the Congo'), is often talked about in Japan. I also read the article on the net several times. Sape is an acronym for 'Societe des ambianceurs et des personnes elegantes'. Is it 'fashionable and elegant gentlemen's association' in Japanese? The people who enjoy this sap are called 'Sapeur'.

SAPEURS --Gentlemen of Bacongo | Daniele Tamagni | Books | Mail Order | Amazon

Despite being poor, Sape wears a flashy suit and roams the streets like a fashion star. Not a spotlight, but strong sunlight just below the equator. The back alley where garbage is scattered at your feet instead of the runway. Looking at the pictures, I am drawn into the gap between poor environment and rich clothing. In the dull city, the bright colors of Sape's suits had a strong presence. They care not only about their appearance, but also about their inner self. In order to become a gentleman who looks good in a suit, daily language and behavior seemed to be important.

Sape's activities have the significance of being a place that suffered from the civil war, 'because it is peaceful, you can enjoy fashion.'

In connection with this, the following books have been published.

WHAT IS SAPEUR? --The poorest but most elegant Congolese men in the world | NHK 'Earth Ichiban' production group, Yuichi Kageshima | Books | Mail order | Amazon

THE SAPEUR The most fashionable gentleman in the world I met in Congo | Kunio Chano | Books | Mail order | Amazon

◆ Sape Photo Exhibition

Photo exhibitions featuring such Sape have been held at Daimaru and Matsuzakaya nationwide since September 2017.

・ Sape Photo Exhibition SAPEUR has arrived at Daimaru Matsuzakaya! Men's Fashion Weeks!

The official page of this photo exhibition has the following introductory text.

In Africa Congo, where the civil war continues, the unique culture 'Sape' has continued for more than 90 years. In life, which is said to be one of the poorest countries in the world, men who parade through the city, wearing expensive brand suits that far exceed their monthly income, send a message of peace through fashion. More than 200 photographs of SAP CHANO, a photographer who continues to take pictures of them with the simple philosophy of 'do not fight because clothes get dirty', are exhibited along with movie images. As part of the Daimaru 300th Anniversary project, this is an exhibition that tours four Daimaru and Matsuzakaya stores nationwide.

I can't understand the part of this introductory text, 'African Congo, where the civil war is still going on.'

◆ Two Congo

As I pointed out at the beginning, there are two countries in Congo: the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). I and

GIGAZINE wrote about the Republic of the Congo, which fell to malaria all around the world. I describe the two Congos in the article as follows:

I was planning to go from Brazzaville in Congo to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The two Congos are separate countries. The Democratic Republic of the Congo with Kinshasa is easy to understand if it is called the old Zaire. Former Zaire is a large country located in central Africa with an area of approximately 2.34 million square kilometers and a population of 63 million (Congo has an area of approximately 342,000 square kilometers and a population of approximately 3.7 million). To distinguish between these two misleading Congos, we call them Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa and the capital name, or in English, Brazzaville is called Congo, and kinshasa is called Democratic Republic Congo for short. Will Japan be the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo? This time, Brazzaville will be called Congo and Kinshasa will be called Democratic Republic of the Congo.

To add further explanation, the French colony was the Republic of the Congo, and the Belgian colony was the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After independence, French has become the official language of both Congo. In Belgium, one of the official languages is French.

The photographs of Sape displayed in this photo exhibition are the works of photographer SAP CHANO. CHANO is chasing Sape's activities in both Brazzaville and Kinshasa and both Congo. So, can we see pictures of Sape in Congo in both countries at this photo exhibition?

◆ Continued civil war

In the same article I traveled to the Republic of the Congo, I also wrote something like this.

When I was planning to go around the world, Congo was a country that was in a civil war and could not travel. However, Charider runs through a peaceful country. It was good to be able to run Congo following East Timor, Kosovo and Sierra Leone. Iraq and Afghanistan, which can't run now, will be able to run someday. It may be my wish as a charider to be able to ride a bicycle around the world.

Even in 2011, there was an activity of the

rebel organization Ninja in the Republic of the Congo. There were frequent inspections by government forces along the way. Still, I recognize that the civil war was over. I also visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo if I could get a visa. Of course, the civil war is over.

However, this is also related to the definition of the word civil war. When I hear that it is a civil war, I imagine it as a big civil war that divides the country into two, such as the 'Spanish Civil War,' 'Cambodia Civil War,' and 'Sudan Civil War.' However, if you look up the word civil war in a dictionary, it means 'a battle between the same people in Japan,' regardless of the scale.

Based on that, if you check the current situation of two countries called Congo ...

・ Republic of the Congo

In the Republic of the Congo, there are clashes between armed groups and security officials who are dissatisfied with the outcome of last year's presidential election. This armed group is the remnant of a group called Ninja, who was also a party to the two civil wars in the Republic of the Congo.

Overseas Safety Homepage: Dangers / Spots / Wide Area Information Republic of the Congo

・ Democratic Republic of the Congo

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there have been three major civil wars, including the Congo Crisis after independence, the First Congo Civil War and the Second Congo Civil War after the end of the Cold War. The Second Congo War was a great turmoil called the Great African War, involving many neighboring countries. In 2002, the Second Congo Civil War also signed a peace agreement (Pretoria Accord) by the relevant powers. Therefore, I was aware that the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was over. However, the political situation has been unstable since the Second Congo War, and armed conflicts have been repeated in various parts of the country. I have ethnic problems. It is also a resource-rich country. In 2011, an armed force called M23 (March 23 Movement) temporarily occupied the eastern city of Sesame.

Overseas Safety Homepage: Danger Information Details Danger Information of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

It is not a mistake to describe such a local armed conflict as a civil war. However, I feel that it is not a common expression in Japan. Nigeria, where Boko Haram is active, Uganda, where the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is active, and the Philippines, which has an Islamic separatist movement in the same Asia, are countries where the civil war is still going on.

Also, the word 'continue' is not clear. I can't tell if the old civil war is still 'continuing' or if it means 'getting up' that unhappiness will continue.

◆ More explanation
Even the text of the photo exhibition may have had to be narrowed down in a limited space. There are many cases where the original intention is not well communicated after writing a sentence. However, with this text, it seems that the event is being lively with the poor stereotyped Africa .

Africa is too far from Japan. So there are too many things I don't know. The phrase 'African Congo, where the civil war continues.' What does the civil war mean? Is Congo also the Republic of the Congo or the Democratic Republic of the Congo? I think it's okay to have more explanations.

(Sentence / Photo: Takuya Suto @ Chariderman
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in Column, Posted by logc_nt