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Hybrid Event | History, Memory and Archives: Contemporary Lens-Based Art from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 8 March, Oxford

Colonial Legacies

The globalisation of the artworld in the 1980s and 1990s and its expansion beyond a Eurocentric matrix led to the proliferation of alternative perspectives onto shared colonial histories in artistic work. This shift coincided with the archival turn in contemporary art from the mid-1990s onwards, which saw artists make archives and archival documents the subject of their work. Drawing from her book, Colonial Legacies: Contemporary Lens-Based Art and the Democratic Republic of Congo (2021), Gabriella Nugent discusses the ways in which contemporary artists born or based in Congo, such as Sammy Baloji, Michèle Magema and Georges Senga, have deployed archival material to contest dominant narratives around the colonial and immediate post-independence past. Free from the protocols of history and armed with accessible digital technologies, these artists resignify old photographs and documentary clips. They play with the poetic capacities of visual art to create new understandings of the past in the present – and equally new understandings of the way the colonial past inhabits the postcolonial present.

Speaker: Gabriella Nugent, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of East Anglia

Wednesday 8 March 2023, 3.30pm – 5pm

Online and In-person, Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter Woodstock Road, OX2 6GG

This event is free and all are welcome

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