the Poto-Poto painting school celebrates its 70th anniversary

Published on : 27/06/2021 – 11:56

Screening of films, exhibitions and workshops… The Poto-Poto painting school, the very first in Brazzaville, founded in 1951 by the Frenchman Pierre Lods, wrapped up a series of events on Saturday June 26 to mark its 70th anniversary. This establishment was not spared by the Covid-19 pandemic.

With our correspondent in Brazzaville, Loïcia Martial

Built at the foot of a baobab tree, Poto-Poto painting school is bordered by other trees which protect the building like a bird’s nest. Seen from near and far, it has the shape of an obelisk.

« I was 20 (when I arrived here). Young people were not interested in painting. There was me, Mpà, Ngampio and Dimi », Testifies Cyrille Bokotaka, one of the alumni of this school which evolves there for 40 years.

Several thousand artists trained

In 70 years, the school has trained several thousand artists who have done and are doing great works. The school counts among its alumni internationally renowned painters such as Marcel Gotène, François Thango, François Iloki, Philippe Ouassa, Jacques Zigoma, André M’Bon and Michel Hengo. Some have settled abroad.

« At first it was Mickey, the little character was born here. It is present throughout the African diaspora. We keep reproducing it in a modern way now », Says Jacques Iloki, vice-president of the association of artists.

Gallery virtual

The pandemic of Covid-19 did not spare the Poto-Poto school of painting, founded in 1951 by Pierre Lods. ” The coronavirus has ended with us and today there are no recipes. There is nothing », Complains Master Adam Opou, in despair.

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Fortunately, Parfait Mbon, the principal of the school, begins to receive a grant of 15,000 dollars granted by Unesco. He must set up a virtual gallery to allow artists to sell their works around the world.


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