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Yours, KOW

White Cube, 2020


The film premiered on 26 November 2020 in Lusanga, Democratic Republic of Congo, and at the international feature film competition at the IDFA film festival in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, before touring globally.

In a time in which the debt held by Western museums whom have been financed by forced labour on confiscated land – the plantation – becomes ever more apparent, this documentary film testifies to an unlikely, new beginning.

White Cube follows the Cercle d'Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise (CATPC), a plantation workers’ cooperative based on a former Unilever plantation in Lusanga, Democratic Republic of Congo. The film documents their success in ending the destructive system of monoculture on their lands. CATPC was formed in 2014 together with renowned environmental activist René Ngongo, the founder of Greenpeace Congo. CATPC members make sculptures from river mud; the sculptures are 3D scanned and then reproduced in cocoa and palm oil in Amsterdam (the world’s largest cocoa port) before being exhibited at top galleries and museums worldwide. With the income generated from the sales of their art, the workers are able to buy back the land that had been confiscated and taken from them by Unilever. So far they have bought 85 hectares of land, which they are transforming back into rich and diverse, ecological and egalitarian gardens: the post-plantation.

english trailer

film, hd, 1h 18min

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Renzo Martens

Renzo Martens, born in the Netherlands in 1973, studied Political Sciences in Nijmegen and Visual Arts in Ghent and Amsterdam. In his conceptual documentary films "Episode I" (2003) and "Episode III: Enjoy Poverty" (2008) Martens used his position as an artist to highlight the exploitation of underpriviledged people by media industries and cultural producers, including Martens himself. In 2010 Martens founded the Institute for Human Activities (IHA). It aims to create gentrification effects in the Congolese rain forest through the establishment of an international art centre there. IHA collaborates with local plantation workers and seeks to acknowledge the economic mechanisms through which art has the greatest impact on social reality, investigating possibilities of local improvement. Since 2013 Renzo Martens is a Yale World Fellow. He participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014, the Moscow Biennale 2013, and the 6th and 7th Berlin Biennial in 2010 and 2012. He lives and works in Amsterdam, Brussels and Kinshasa.

Martens´s work has been presented in major solo exhibitions such as in the Van Abbemuseum 2023, Balot (KOW Berlin 2022). And most recently, Martens and CATPC are invited for the Dutch Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennial in 2024.

Full Biography