Camera and Colony: The Audiovisual Documentary Approach to the Historical Relation between the Congo and Belgium by Contemporary Artists and Filmmakers (1990-2016).

Project Details


Camera and Colony will be the first PhD research project to explore an underdeveloped field in postcolonial research: The practice of contemporary artists and filmmakers active in Belgium, the Congo and other countries reflecting on the Belgian colonial past through an audiovisual documentary approach. The main question that guides this investigation pertains to the putative differences between Belgian, Congolese and the diaspora’s approaches to the colonial past. It is my hypothesis that while there are distinctive characteristics in the work of particular artists and filmmakers, it becomes increasingly difficult to follow the national (and colonial) divisions when speaking about contemporary art and film practice. It is therefore necessary to adopt what has been called a transcolonial view, in which the theme and format of the works will be prioritized. Camera and Colony considers the possible role of the audiovisual documentary in accessing and reflecting on the colonial past, through an approach of the works as catalysts of postcolonial debate and combines a historical, material and formal analysis of the corpus with a focus on narrative. Unlike previous studies, Camera and Colony embraces the complexity of perspectives involved in the colonial past and the notion of an international contemporary art and film field, which results in a selection of works by artists such as Sven Augustijnen, Sammy Baloji, Monique Mbeka Phoba, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc and Vincent Meessen.
Effective start/end date1/10/1730/09/21


  • camera
  • documentary

Flemish discipline codes 2018-2023

  • History of art


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