Exhibition / screening

Ernest Salu III films the Congo

© Epitaaf

Ernest Salu was the name of three Brussels sculptors of funerary monuments. All three – grandfather, father and son – also took a keen interest in photography, an activity that complemented their artistic work.

Ernest Salu III took this one step further by expressing his creativity through the medium of cinema. His most celebrated achievement is a documentary on the construction of the Atomium. Less well known, but just as important, is his contribution to a number of films shot in the Congo. Salu was a crew member for the filmmaker André Cauvin, best known for the films he made in the then colony.

The first of these, Bongolo, was filmed in 1951 and released in cinemas two years later. This was the first movie to use Congolese actors, meaning that it was seen as ‘progressive’ at the time. It focused on the contrast between Congolese traditions and ‘modern’ Congo, the Congo of the évolués. Cauvin’s second and much better known Congolese work is Bwana Kitoko, documenting the young King Baudouin’s trip to the colony in 1955. Both films now form part of the CINEMATEK collection.

This previously undocumented aspect of the Salus’ artistic output will be the subject of an exhibition held in the sculptors’ former family home.

In cooperation with Epitaaf, ‘CINEMATEK – Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique/Koninklijk Belgisch Filmarchief’, the VRT archives team and CEGESOMA.

Practical information

Sat. & Sun, 10:00 to 18:00 (continuous screenings – duration: 45 minutes). Guided tours of the workshop, Sat. & Sun. at 11:30, 14:30 and 16:30 (FR) and Sat. & Sun. at 10:30, 13:30 and 15:30 (NL)

Salu Workshop, Parvis Notre-Dame/Onze-Lieve-Vrouwvoorplein 16, Brussels-Laeken/Laken