2011 Photo Contest, Arts and Entertainment, Singles, 1st prize
Photographer

Andrew McConnell

23 July, 2010

Joséphine Nsimba Mpongo, 37, practices the cello in the Kimbanguiste neighborhood of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

About

Andrew McConnell

Andrew McConnell was born 1977 and began his career as a press photographer covering the closing stages of the conflict in Northern Ireland and the transition to peace. In 2004, ...

Background story

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Joséphine Nsimba Mpongo, 37, practices the cello in the Kimbanguiste neighborhood of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a member of the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste (OSK), Central Africa’s only symphony orchestra. During the day, Joséphine sells eggs in Kinshasa’s main market, and rehearses with the orchestra most evenings during the week. The OSK was founded by its current conductor Armand Diangienda in 1994. Initially, just a few dozen musicians shared the small number of instruments they had at their disposal. Today, the OSK can muster 200 players for a concert. Most are self-taught amateurs who hold down day jobs all over the city.

Photo credit:
Panos Pictures for Der Spiegel

Andrew McConnell speaks about the project:
"I was sent on assignment by Der Spiegel magazine to photograph the Kimbanguiste Symphony Orchestra in Kinshasa, DR Congo. Two German filmmakers were in town to premier a movie they had made about the orchestra and I was to document the event. The orchestra practices at the conductor’s compound in the Kimbanguiste neighborhood of the city, a place filled with musicians that reverberates to the sounds of string, brass, wind and percussion instruments. The compound was separated from the street by green corrugated plastic and I made the picture with the intention of showing two worlds side by side, one chaotic, poverty ridden and sad, and the other rising above all that, beautiful, inspired, and full of possibility."

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/40 s
Focal length
24 mm
F-Stop
f/6.3
ISO
2000

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