Guido Piacenza in Congo: A cinematographic and ethnographic document found again

Stefano Allovio, Cecilia Pennacini


The Italian entrepreneur Guido Piacenza travelled to the Congo in 1912 for a pleasure cruise that took him from the Atlantic coast through the interior of the continent to continue crossing the Uganda border, finally reaching the Kenyan coast. The travel, that during its first part took place sailing along the river Congo, was the occasion to realize what will become the first film shot in Congo. Piacenza took with him a 35-mm camera and the equipment to develop the negative, and realized some extraordinary images of the groups he visited during the trip. In the Uele region, he came in contact with the Azande and Mangbetu chiefs. He visited their capitals and film some of their spectacular dance performances. The article retraces this experience showing the ethnographic and historical interest of the materials collected by Piacenza.  

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