Ubakagi


The word Ubakagi is a Congolese word for cutting meat from a dead animal. This term is also used for raped women. A surviving rape victim automatically falls down the order of rank and ends up lower than an animal. She gets’ banished by her family and the community. Rape has been used as a weapon of war during the different conflicts that take place in Congo. Using rape is an efficient way of offending and humiliating the opposition.  Black magic also plays a role in the use of rape. Believing that the ashes of female reproductive organs have a magical power when used for tattoos, the rape offenders could kill and mutilate the victims after raping them. In most contexts, the phallus is a symbol of fertility. But in my project its a symbol of abuse of power. I have explored the relationship between the offender and power and researched many different facets; the animal-like behavior of the rape offenders, the colonial history, the system and rituals of how the rapes where executed & the effects of the act on both offender & victim after the conflict has ended.