Studios Kabako performing more more more…future, set to the poems of political prisoner Antoine Vumilia Muhindo. (Photo: Agathe Poupeney)
The Congolese performance and theater studio Studios Kabako is the winner of the $120,000 Curry Stone Design Prize, established in 2008 to recognize those using design to address critical issues ranging from post-conflict development and peacekeeping to clean water access and healthcare. Past winners of the award, selected by a design star-heavy jury, include artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, Boston-based MASS Design, Architecture for Humanity, architect Antonio Scarponi, and Brooklyn’s Center for Urban Pedagogy.
Dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula created Studios Kabako in 2001 to address social memory, fear, and hope in the aftermath of civil war. The organization is based in Kisangani, the third largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Faustin Linyekula manifests how art should be the first design component in building a better society,” said prize founders Clifford Curry and Delight Stone in a statement issued this morning announcing the winner. “Studios Kabako’s performances expose on an international platform the devastating effects of local conflicts, while in Kisangani they are assembling daily the building blocks for envisioning a sustainable future.”