The Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant People SAPE
Per Anders Petterson
170 x 230 mm
SAPE is a unique subculture within Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo. Being a Sapeur is more than a way of dressing, more than a hobby and more than a means of earning money and respect. It's a prestigious brotherhood with its own moral and social codes and ultimately it is a way of life and survival.
Many use it as an escape to forget daily problems and hardships, explaining that the dressing up and parading in the streets makes them feel important, allowing them to forget about their daily struggles in a chaotic Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. While they are often treated as next-door celebrities, their embodied art form brings them both a touch of glamour and a reprieve from the humble, bleak, and even destitute neighborhoods they have spent their entire lives in.