Children’s Game #29: La roue
Lubumbashi, DR Congo, 2021; 8:43 min In collaboration with Rafael Ortega, Julien Devaux, and Félix Blume Over the city of Lubumbashi looms the mampala or slag heap of the Étoile du Congo cobalt mine, its lower slopes today sifted by the clandestins, lithium hunters who risk their lives to feed our global battery market. The film rests on dramatic contrasts – tiny bright figures against the expanse of darkness; a child who can barely see over the colossal tire he fights to push uphill. Then the adrenaline rush of rolling down inside it! Yet the song the kids invented “pushing, pushing” to solve post-industrial problems, gives faith in these young carriers of D.R. Congo’s future.
Francis Alÿs is a Belgian-born, Mexico-based artist. His work emerges in the interdisciplinary space of art, architecture, and social practice. In 1986, Alÿs left behind his profession as an architect and relocated to Mexico City.