Beginning in 2009, The Map is an ongoing, perpetually transforming project in which the artist questions his identity through the creation of personal world maps without borders, the artificial legacy of history. This poetic cartography is a reflection of Kitenge Banza's identity and transformation through the places he occupies within the world over time. Of his work, Kitenge Banza says: "This body of work tracks a topographical portrait of my life, symbolized by sets and subsets interconnected by arrows depicting my movements and displacements. The map itself becomes a compass. Borrowing from ancient mapmaking codes, the work suggests that the only countries that exist are the ones I've discovered, questioning the existence of the Other in relation to my own."
A reflection on territory, on history, on memory and on borders
A reflection on space as social, geopolitical, identitary sentimental and cultural place
On the world map I create at the end of every year, I claim my chez moi wherever I wish, wherever my freedom of movement will take me, completely unhindered. It is through this practice that I find safety, and a way to banish that lost feeling, the sense of being far from place of origin. The map itself becomes a compass. Borrowing from ancient mapmaking codes, the work suggests that the only countries that exist are the ones I’ve discover, questioning the existence of the Other in relation to my own.
Does the other exist because I decided it? Who are they in relation to me? Who am I in relation to them? There are so many questions that are irrespective of issues of border or colour. This work questions my way of knowing, of structuring and of presenting the world and the place I occupy in it, as a young person, of African in origin, as Congolese, immigrant and now as a Canadian.