Director: Sammy Baloji
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Year: 2008
Running Time: 15 min.
Language: French


U.M.H.K. stands for Union Minière du Haut Katanga, a Belgian mining company founded in 1906, in Leopold II’s Congo Free State, to exploit the mineral wealth of Katanga. From 1908, U.M.H.K. accounted for a massive percentage of the Belgian Congo’s GDP; after the company was nationalized by Mobutu Sese Seko in 1967, taking on the name Gécamines, this continued to be the case, despite stunning mismanagement and asset stripping. Entire lives were built around the company: the lives of generations of mine workers and their families, at once supported and violently exploited by it.


About the Director

Sammy Baloji

Biography: Sammy Baloji, who was born in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1978, graduated with a degree in letters from the University of Lubumbashi. He was interested in comics before turning to photography and video. Sammy Baloji won two awards at the 2007 Bamako Biennale, was a finalist for the 2009 Pictet Prize in Paris for his Mémoire series and took the Prince Claus Culture and Development Prize from the eponymous foundation for Mémoire. Sammy has participated in various international shows worldwide, from the first Photo Quai exhibition at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris to one at the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren in 2009 and 2011.

(Source: http://www.aad-fund.org/artists/sammy-baloji)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
U.M.H.K. (2010).

U.M.H.K. (2008).