Pamela Kleemann-Passi
Photographer & Visual Artist

Hand of the Congo

Hand of the Congo

The hand is a loaded symbol. On the one hand, it represents hope, affection and kindness. On the other hand, it represents hate, brutality and violence.

In 1890s Congo (formerly Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo), Congolese slaves who failed to meet Belgian King Leopold II’s rubber collection quotas were punished by having a hand cut off. Ironically, baskets of severed hands became the symbol of the Congo Free State.

The hand is also part of the language of photography – the practice of photography is hands-on; cameras and digital devices are hand-held; photographs can be hand-printed, hand-coloured, hand-painted, hand-finished and handed around for appraisal and appreciation…

Hand of the Congo received a Judges Commendation from the Sydney Road Brunswick Association (SRBA), organisers of the Window Frames exhibition for the 2010 Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Mixed Media – 70cm x 100cm digital photograph, cotton fabric, photographic tray, water, food colouring, metal clips.

2010 – Window Frames, Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Vic Australia Copyright Pam Kleemann © 2010