In 2012, Joëlle Sambi Nzeba began taking interest in film productions related to sexual minorities issues in Africa and in Black communities in different African diasporas. That's when she realized the difficulty of producing films in Africa about homosexuality, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where this type of cinema is simply absent, while Congolese directors are more and more visible. This is how the idea of making the film: P!NKSHASA DIASPORA was born.

She has been living in Brussels for 17 years and has worked for almost as long in its LGBT+ community.
Homosexual communities in Belgium are not a monolithic bloc sharing a universal point of view on representation and stakes of struggle for respect and recognition of our rights. Today, many European homosexuals are children of the diaspora, and among them, from Kinshasa's diaspora, capital of the DRC. And their concerns, their affirmations, reflections, doubts, commitments are spread through and to be understood through their stories, their cultures.

Joëlle Sambi Nzeba feels she has no legitimacy to speak on behalf of the LGBT+ people of Cameroon, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Uganda, or even of the Democratic Republic of Congo as a whole. However, the basis of her approach is her willingness to show, to give a voice to those who, like her, have left Kinshasa one day or who are closely connected to the city. 

And if the diaspora is first and foremost the story of an uprooting, a cut, even an heartbreak, she wonders about the specificity of Kinshasans LGBT+ people in the diaspora. What life do they build? What connections remain with Kinshasa? Do they remain Kinshasans anyway? And above all, how does one live his/her homosexuality in a country that is not his/her own, and how does this influence our romantic, social or political commitments?

Pinkshasa Diaspora is a first documentary about the experiences of gay, lesbian, bi and trans people from the diaspora of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A first film aiming at making visible the activists and artists of the diaspora, those who create possibilities for Congolese homosexualities. 

© Mikael Owunna