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Images from Africa: Specters from the colonisation of Congo (DRC) in contemporary art

Grant number: 14/22371-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): February 15, 2015
Effective date (End): June 14, 2015
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Cinema
Principal Investigator:Carolin Overhoff Ferreira
Grantee:Emi Koide
Supervisor: Filip De Boeck
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Leuven, Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium  
Associated to the scholarship:13/08117-4 - Images from Africa: specters from the colonisation of Congo, D.R.C, BP.PD


This research project in Belgium/ Europe aims to contribute to the current project financed by Fapesp and developed in Brazil. In order to undertake the analysis of artworks in four mediums - films, video, video-installations, photography - from the period 1990-2015, that engage with the practice of colonial and postcolonial historical and archival research related to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the "Congomania" phenomenon, it is important to develop further research on historical discourse in different fields - their political and cultural meaning, their impact in each different sphere and communities (European, Belgian Walloon, Belgian Flemish, Congolese from diaspora, Congolese based in DRC, international community). The phenomenon will be analysed by focusing on significant contemporary artworks produced by artists who have conducted historical research on the D.R.C. by dealing with the return of specters and phantoms from colonial and post-colonial times. My purpose is to enrich and provide further background information regarding the complexities of the debate to the analysis of the works of Christine Meisner, Mathieu Abonnenc, Sammy Baloji, Raoul Peck, Monique Phoba, Sven Augustijnen, Michèle Magema, Robert Jan-Lacombe, Renzo Martens and Vincent Meessen. Other recent art works related to the subject may be considered as well. It is vital to the project to take into consideration the discursive landscape, as referred to by De Boeck, on the Congo which has been established in the XIX century - an imaginary Congo depicted as a "savage" place marked by horror as presented by Joseph Conrad - that persists until today. Accordingly, historical discourses and art works that engage with the subject can reveal continuities and ruptures - intentional or not - to this haunting trope. Our study aspires to participate in this critical debate, engaging with the question of aesthetics, post-colonial theory, historical discourses and the imaginary. (AU)

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