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Gentlemen of Bacongo
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Gentlemen of Bacongo

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Each Sapeur has his own repertoire of gestures that distinguishes him from the others. They are also after their own great dream: to travel to Paris and return to Bacongo as lords of elegance."
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Trolley Press
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Jun 30, 2010 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: For people interested in Africa… but also for people interested in fashion!
This colourful book takes you to the streets of Bacongo, a district area in Brazzaville where the elegant sapeurs show off their suits with style and a touch of extravagance. They belong to a very important club: The Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes (The society for the advancement of people of elegance) which now has among its adepts also a few women.

This movement started when in the 70’s the first Congolese people, who had migrated to Europe, came back to Congo with designer...more
I picked up this book in an airport bookshop. It provides a fascinating view into the Sapeur sub-culture in the Congo. In a time where most books about Africa / Africans tends to be about war and corruption -- makes this book all the more important, and a delightful read (in addition to some great photographs).
WORN Fashion Journal
Le Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (The Society of Advancement of People of Elegance, or SAPE) is a hierarchical subculture founded in the Congo during the dats of French colonixation. Followers strive to recreate a historical French elegance by donning a rainbow of dandy-like designer suits, holding cigars, and maintaining a strong morality in keeping with the self-proclaimed Ten Commandments Of Les Sapeurs. Most of the books juxtaposes raw images of these polished men agains...more
The little that we do hear about Africa is generally about some combination of violence, illness, and/or poaching, while this book profiles Sape culture (Society for the advancement of people of elegance), primarily in Bacongo, Congo. Aside from stunning portraits of a community that was totally unfamiliar and fascinating to me, it was wonderful for me read a story about a part of life in Africa that that relates to faith, ethics, and community, and which is also about a celebratory identity.
Julianne Dunn
This is mostly a story told in photos, beautiful photos of men (and women) who dress elegantly in a society of chaos. Some of my favorite photos contrast these together. The book also highlights a few men and their motivations. It also details where the beginning of Sapre began and how it has evolved. It is just beautiful.
Beautiful pictures. Needed a better translation and would have been better as a coffee table book. Very interesting information, though.
The pictures of these sapeurs are stunning. More text and explanation of who these men are, and why they are so deeply invested in this lifestyle would have made this truly stand out though.
Great, fullpage pictures. I wish there had been a little more text. I wanted to know more about each of the gentlemen profiled.
If I could write another thesis in Sociology, by goodness, this would be the topic.
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