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BRUCE CLARKE

(1959)

South Africa / United Kingdom

 

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(Patrice Lumumba)

 

70 x 50

Watercolour & Collage on Paper

2018

Ideologically an African nationalist and Pan-Africanist, Patrice Lumumba was a Congolese independence leader who served as the first Prime Minister of the independent Republic of the Congo from June until September 1960. He played a significant role in the transformation of the Congo from a colony of Belgium into an independent republic.

 

Shortly after Congolese independence in 1960, a mutiny manipulated by Belgian colonial forces and businesses and the CIA broke out. Lumumba appealed to the United States and the United Nations for help to suppress the Belgian-supported Katangan secessionists. Both refused and Lumumba was subsequently imprisoned by state authorities under Mobutu and executed under the command of Katangan authorities and Belgian mercenaries. He was widely seen as a martyr for the wider Pan-African movement.