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Tariq Zaidi : Sapeurs – Ladies and Gentlemen of the Congo

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British photographer Tariq Zaidi presents a fashion subculture of Kinshasa & Brazzaville: La Sape, Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes (Society of Ambiance-Makers & Elegant People). Its followers are known as »Sapeurs« (»Sapeuses« for women). Most have ordinary day jobs as taxi-drivers, tailors and gardeners, but as soon as they clock out they transform themselves into debonair dandies. Sashaying through the streets they are treated like rock stars – turning heads, bringing ‘joie de vivre’ to their communities and defying their circumstances. From the text by Tariq Zaidi: “Brazzaville and Kinshasa are on opposite banks of the Congo River, almost...

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