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Yours, KOW


performance, props, video


The project NEW BEAT - THIS IS CONGO deals with the connection of congolese and belgian history and culture with the example of the music genre New Beat of the late 80s.

Legend has it that the genre was invented in the nightclub Ancienne Belgique (AB) in Antwerp when the DJ accidentally played a EBM (Electronic Body Music) record at slow speed. New Beat music is said to be 'pure Belgian' and claimed to be not influenced by American Detroit Techno or Chicago House.

Through this exclusion of afro-american influences in the music this claims a 'purety' which doesn't seem likely in the entangled global music history. What happens, if we not only start to think of influences from Detroit or Chicago, but move one step further looking for the origins of New Beat in the former Belgian colony of the Democratic Republic of Congo?

Which visible and audible influence had Congo's culture on the development of the micro genre in Western Europe? The project searches for the fictional and real origins of the New Beat in the music city Kinshasa. In the year 2017, 30 years after the emergence of New Beat, the Congolese performers Rachel Nyangombe and Bebson de la Rue together with Henrike Naumann (Berlin) search for the traces of this genre. It results in an evening with films, performances and objects from the New Beat era. This is not Belgium - This is Congo!

Das Projekt NEW BEAT - THIS IS CONGO! beschäftigt sich mit der Verbundenheit von kongolesischer und belgischer Geschichte und Kultur am Beispiel der Musikrichtung New Beat der späten 80er Jahre.

Der Legende nach wurde New Beat 1987 in der Disko Ancienne Belgique (AB) in Antwerpen zufällig durch das zu langsame Abspielen einer EBM (Electronic Body Music) Platte erfunden und gilt als eine 'pur' belgische Musikrichtung, laut Aussage damaliger Protagonisten ausdrücklich nicht beeinflusst vom amerikanischen Detroit Techno oder Chicago House.

Durch diese Ausklammerung afro-amerikanischer Einflüsse in der Musik wird eine 'Reinheit' beschrieben, welche in der global verwobenen Musikgeschichte sehr unwahrscheinlich erscheint. Was passiert nun also, wenn man nicht nur amerikanische Einflüsse aus Detroit oder Chicago mitdenkt, sondern einen Schritt weiter geht und nach den Ursprüngen des New Beat in der ehemaligen Belgischen Kolonie Kongo sucht?

Welchen sicht- und hörbaren Einfluss hatte die Kultur Kongos auf die Entwicklung des Mikrogenres in Westeuropa? Das Projekt sucht in der Musikstadt Kinshasa nach den fiktiven und realen Ursprüngen des New Beat. Im Jahr 2017, 30 Jahre nach der Entstehung von New Beat, machen sich die kongolesischen Musiker Rachel Nyangombe und Bebson de la Rue zusammen mit Henrike Naumann (Berlin) auf die Suche nach den Spuren des Genres. Ein Abend mit Musik, Filmen, Performances und Objekten aus der New Beat-Zeit. This is not Belgium - This is Congo!

Henrike Naumann, New Beat - This is Congo!, 2017, performance, props, video
Henrike Naumann, New Beat - This is Congo!, 2017, performance, props, video
Henrike Naumann, New Beat - This is Congo!, 2017, performance, props, video

Henrike Naumann

Henrike Naumann was born 1984 in Zwickau (GDR). Growing up in Eastern Germany, Naumann experienced extreme-right ideology as a predominant youth culture in the 90s. Her work reflects on the history of the right-wing terrorism in Germany as well as on today‘s broad acceptance of racist ideas. She looks at the mechanisms of radicalization and how they are linked to personal experience and youth culture. Naumann explores the friction of contrary political opinion through the ambivalence of personal aesthetic taste. In her immersive installations she combines video and sound with scenographic spaces. In recent years she widened her focus to the global connectivity of youth cultures and the reversion of cultural othering. Notable exhibitions include solo shows at the Belvedere 21 in Vienna, Kunsthaus Dahlem in Berlin, Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach and Galerie Wedding, Berlin, as well as participations at the Busan Biennale (2018), Riga Biennial (2018), Steirischer Herbst, Graz (2018), 4th Ghetto Biennale at Port-Au-Prince (2015), and the 3rd Herbstsalon at Maxim Gorki Theatre Berlin (2017).

Henrike Naumann lives and works in Berlin.

Full Biography