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Images from Africa: specters from the colonisation of Congo, D.R.C

Grant number: 13/08117-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Cinema
Principal researcher:Carolin Overhoff Ferreira
Grantee:Emi Koide
Home Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/22371-3 - Images from Africa: Specters from the colonisation of Congo (DRC) in contemporary art, BE.EP.PD


This project aims to analyse ten artworks in four mediums- films, video, video-installations, photography - from the period 1990-2012, that engage with the practice of colonial and postcolonial historical and archival research related to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It will examine and draw conclusions about the "congomania" phenomenon, focusing on significant contemporary art works produced by artists who have conducted historical research about the D.R.C., dealing with the return of spectres and phantoms from colonial and post-colonial history. Their investigation and rewriting of history will be studied by breaking down the problem into its political and aesthetic elements as they relate to the post-colonial context. We propose to analyze the works of Christine Meisner, Mathieu Abonnenc, Sammy Baloji, Raoul Peck, Monique Phoba, Sven Augustijnen, Michèle Magema, Robert Jan-Lacombe and Renzo Martens. Different moments and issues from the history of the D.R.C. will be analysed through the works of each artist. Thus it will be necessary to establish the background of these artistic objects in the aesthetical debate about archive usage and historical research in current art practice, as well as their relationship to Congo's history. What is more, this proposal is strongly related to postcolonial studies. The study of the chosen art works will take into consideration their production process, the construction of images, their internal organization, the articulation of space and time, as well as their engagement with colonial and postcolonial memory and the use of archival material present in each art work. Based on the selected works, we thus hope to raise questions with regard to the aesthetics, the historical debate and post-colonial theory. We consider that these selected art works, through the historical research conducted by artists allow us to develop a new critical panorama about historical representation in the contemporary postcolonial debate. (AU)

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