Viande de Brousse: a Bushmeat Food-Cart Project Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

May 5 2011

Location: 

Portland OR

This is a project about bushmeat: the hunting of wild meat in the forests of sub-Saharan Africa, for our purposes specifically the Democratic Republic of Congo. This bushmeat food-cart serves up information and interpretations of the
history and present of the Democratic Republic of Congo, its peoples,
forests and creatures, and of the glutton world that has chewed it
ragged. Our aim with this object and the situations we place it in is to
shed some brief light on a subject deeply shadowed by greed and
complicity. The intersection of ecological devastation and explosive
economic growth, the knife's edge where survival and catastrophe force
impossible choices, and the bitter recapitulations of history and its
cruelties are our subjects. Our medium: a food-cart, cut from historical
and metaphorical cloth, serving the severed hands of Chimpanzees.

Why
hands? They are one of the choicest and most expensive cuts of bushmeat
on the market. We believe that their popularity is partly an echo of
Colonial Belgium's brutal enforcement strategies, where the hands of
thousands of Congolese were cut off in an effort to maintain slave labor
regimes in the rubber forests. Severed hands have been given an arcane
value by world capitalism's penetration of Congo.

We are trying to talk about who eats what. We want to know who gets to
eat and who goes hungry, and we want to know what is destroyed to fill
these bellies. Two and a half centuries after King Leopold's colonial
edicts began arriving from Belgium, the vast heartland of the African
continent is still pulsing to the beat of his dark drum. We want to
bring that chilling music back to the West, to dip our fingers in the
complicity that binds us together as consumers, and offer a taste to
all.

Posted by mjminnich on

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