In a series of images titled “Imaginary Trip,” Congolese photographer Gosette Lubondo highlights the tensions between lingering remnants of colonialization and present-day life in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The nostalgic pieces, which showcase Lubondo’s personal journey through previous generations who once inhabited the spaces she photographs, are on display at the Fowler Museum at UCLA.
Lubondo plays with time and space by representing some subjects as solid forms, while others are faded — ghosts from another time. She herself shows up in the photographs, navigating through now-abandoned schools and trains from her country’s colonial past, and letting the viewer imagine once-animated places.
Inspired by her photographer father, Lubondo has been using a camera lens to explore memory and history from a young age. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, Congo, where she is currently based. Her work has been displayed in exhibits throughout Africa, Europe, and the U.S. Lubondo recently received the 2021 Maison Ruinart Prize, which recognizes emerging photographers and displays their works in Paris.
The exhibit will run through July 3. The Fowler Museum is open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is free.