Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
New! 💥 Get ProPicks to see the strategy that has beaten the S&P 500 by 829%+ Claim 60% Off

Congolese artist paints politicians' portraits in plastic

Published Jan 05, 2023 05:06AM ET Updated Jan 05, 2023 09:42AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
4/4 © Reuters. Congolese artist Patrick Cikuru Cirimwami applies finishing touches on portrait images of Congolese leaders, made from plastic waste, which he melts after collecting it near the banks of the Ruzizi I hydroelectric plant, in Bukavu, eastern Democratic Repu 2/4

By Crispin Kyala

BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Near the banks of Lake Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, artist Patrick Cikuru Cirimwami wades knee-deep through a mountain of plastic bottles, scooping as many as he can carry into a large sack.

There is no public waste collection in the area, and the trash that ends up in Lake Kivu often causes breakdowns in the hydroelectric plant, leading to power cuts.

But Cikuru Cirimwami's goal is bigger than helping clean up. Later he will melt down the plastic to make a thick liquid which he uses to paint portraits of politicians - intended to be a condemnation of what he says is their inaction in protecting the environment.

"There have been many conferences in DR Congo, many meetings ... but we have not taken measures to protect nature. As a Congolese artist, I can send a message," said the 26-year-old.

Last month, the artist's portraits of political figures, from independence leader Patrice Lumumba to current president Felix Tshisekedi, were displayed at a cultural centre in his hometown, Bukavu.

Congo, like other African nations, has insisted on its right to develop its economy by exploiting its vast natural resources. It has come under criticism for putting oil blocks up for auction in the world's second-biggest rainforest.

It has pledged to minimise the potentially devastating impact by using modern drilling methods and tight regulation. It also hosted talks before November's COP 27 climate summit to call on rich nations to honour a pledge to developing nations to ensure fair finance to fight climate change.

Congolese artist paints politicians' portraits in plastic

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email