Artists and Producers today| Monique Mbeka Phoba
Seminar Something you should know | Wednesday, November 27nd
L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and the Fondation Maisondes sciences de l'homme
Patricia Falguières, Elisabeth Lebovici et Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez
welcome for this exceptional session of the Seminar Something you should know Monique Mbeka Phoba.
Monique Mbeka Phoba (born 1962) is a filmmaker whose family comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and who works and lives in Brussels, from where she runs the production company RUMBACOM. Mbeka Phoba has made around ten documentary films, autobiographical and/or political about the two African countries at the heart of her practice : the DRC and Bénin, where she lived for ten years and where she created the LAGUNIMAGES film festival, which is still in activity. Her documentaries have been co-produced by European network and the African TV network ONTB based in Bénin, which broadcasts her films every year.
After twenty years of documentary film, Monique decided to rethink her practice and at 50, obtained a degree in scriptwriting in Belgium.' Sister Oyo' (2015), her first fictionnal short, is based on her mother’s life as a schoolgirl in the colonial Congo of the 50’s, when she was sent to a Catholic boarding school in Mbanza-Mboma, a French speaking school where young girls could get a secondary education. This film was amongst the works which relaunched the question of the invisibilisation of the colonial history in Belgium. Since the release of the film, Monique Mbeka Phoba has given a series of masterclasses, which explores Belgian cinema under the prism of the colonial theme, which took place at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Université Catholique de Louvain-La-Neuve (UCL), Contour Biennale in Mechelen, BOZAR, Maison Européenne des Auteurs et des Autrices (MEDAA), at the Festival International de Cinéma de Kinshasa (FICKIN), and at the Institut Supérieur d'Etudes du Langage Plastique (ISELP), among other venues.
Monique Mbeka has been the assistant editor for the volume 'Nouvelles du Congo' (Editions Magellan, 2015). She has been a jury member for the Festival Panafricain de Cinéma de Ouagadougou (Fespaco), for the Cinéma du Réel Festival in Paris, as well as for the Organisation Internationale de la
Francophonie and the Wallonie-Bruxelles Federation. She is a member of the Wallonie-Bruxelles scriptwriting organisation and is currently writing her
first fiction feature film. She is also the author of Yemadja, a book of poems (2016).