"Article 15"*, 1992
Courtesy: Gallery Lucien Bilinelli, Brussels
© Plazier, Brussels
Écoutez mes bêtes,
la conjoncture de la 2ème République
ne permet pas de vous héberger!
Allez vous débrouiller
Snif... Maitre nous sommes ici pour vous!
Pourquoi tu nous abandonnes comme ça?
Où pouvons nous aller
Visitei recentemente o Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, em Bruxelas, agora fechado durante 4 anos para obras de remodelação. Queria ver pela última vez as colecções na versão século XIX. A crónica de José Cutileiro no primeiro dia do ano — Nuers e Dinkas — serve-me agora de pretexto para regressar a África com mais umas curiosidades (ver tag Congo).
O artigo e o breve documentário recomendados abaixo são antigos mas permanecem actuais.
After a series of deflationary measures announced by the Zairean government in September 1983, prices for basic commodities rose by 30 to 40 percent while salaries remained unchanged. This further reduced the standard of living of the average Zairean. A schoolteacher in Kinshasa, for example, makes $13 per month. A civil servant with a university diploma, earns $25 per month.
''With such salaries,'' a Western diplomat explains, ''you can't make both ends meet. To survive most Zaireans make ample use of what is known here as Article 15.'' In clearer terms this means many Zaireans give way to corruption: teachers sell diplomas. No official form is available from a civil servant without a tip.
O artigo Zaire, An African Nation rich in natural resources but plagued by political instability and economic stagnation na íntegra aqui
Defined as 'Manage by Yourself', the mythical article 15 founded an 'informal' economy in Zaire. Squatting in the grey mud of the market Place, black 'Mamas' barter for survival, singing as they prepare their wares. They manage to supplement their husbands' earnings by running a 'black market'.
O documentário The Definition of Poverty - DRC April 1996 aqui