The Cultural Politics of Art and Heritage in Central Africa (dr. Sarah Van Beurden)
Date: Wednesday 14 November 2018 - 11:30 - 12:45
African Studies Department - Room C01.27
How is “cultural capital” made and used by states? How do we understand the current debates about restitution from a historically informed perspective? This lecture will use the example of Congo (former Zaire) to explore how seemingly neutral categories such as art and heritage are constructed and used in the context of colonial and postcolonial politics. This talk will trace the influence of colonial constructions of cultural authenticity and political legitimacy on the conceptualization of decolonization as a process of cultural restitution, and on the Mobutu regime’s political project of “recours à l’authenticité.” The latter’s attempt to use the past as a source for a modern yet “authentic” nation was aimed at both national and international audiences, and fed into a broader postcolonial wave of nationalist yet pan-African state-led art initiatives on the African continent.
Free entrance, for further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org