Colonial Legacies

Contemporary Lens-Based Art and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Gabriella Nugent

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Monograph - ebook

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The colonial past in photography and video art of contemporary artists born or based in the Congo

In Colonial Legacies, Gabriella Nugent examines a generation of contemporary artists born or based in the Congo whose lens-based art attends to the afterlives and mutations of Belgian colonialism in postcolonial Congo. Focusing on three artists and one artist collective, Nugent analyses artworks produced by Sammy Baloji, Michèle Magema, Georges Senga and Kongo Astronauts, each of whom offers a different perspective onto this history gleaned from their own experiences. In their photography and video art, these artists rework existent images and redress archival absences, making visible people and events occluded from dominant narratives. Their artworks are shown to offer a re-reading of the colonial and immediate post-independence past, blurring the lines of historical and speculative knowledge, documentary and fiction. Nugent demonstrates how their practices create a new type of visual record for the future, one that attests to the ramifications of colonialism across time.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

IAS Book Launch: Colonial Legacies - 24 February 2022, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm


Chapter 1. Mining Lubumbashi: Sammy Baloji’s Mémoire 
Chapter 2. The Maintenance of Mobutu’s Zaire: Michèle Magema’s Oyé Oyé 
Chapter 3. The Image of Lumumba: Georges Senga’s Une vie après la mort 
Chapter 4. From Kinshasa to the Moon: Kongo Astronauts 
Coda. Between History and individual histories 
Colour Plate Gallery 193

Format: Monograph - ebook

232 pages

ISBN: 9789461664273

Publication: December 15, 2021

Languages: English

Gabriella Nugent is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Art History and World Art Studies at the University of East Anglia.