Arts and Entertainment, first prize singles
July 23, 2010
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.
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 & keywords
KeywordsOrchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste (DR Congo) Mpongo, Joséphine Nsimba Musicians Cellists Cello
This image is collected in
About the photographer
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, he left press photography to concentrate on documentary photography and has since worked on stories worldwide, covering events in Europe, Asia and in Africa, where he has lived for the past four years. His work regularly documents people and places that remain under-reported in the international media and his images have appeared internationally in publications such as National Geographic, Newsweek, Time, Der Spiegel, FT Magazine, Vanity Fair Italy, The Sunday Times Magazine and Internazionale.
Interview with Irish photographer Andrew McConnell about his portrait series of Saharawi people of Western Sahara.
Winning images by location
Andrew McConnell on Twitter
26 February 2017
RT @telebusiness: Glencore risks investor ire as partner resumes hunt for oil in disputed Western Sahara waters https://t.co/d5J0B1QxMg htt…
24 February 2017
Soyuz capsule TMA-19M of @astro_timpeake now belongs to the Science Museum in London, where it is on permanent disp… https://t.co/m0CpC3ZlNV
9 February 2017
5 December 2016
An oil field burns in Northern Iraq https://t.co/x59tJIqIUM