Congolese contemporary creation invites contrasts. The Congo's history of precarity and war in the past thirty years explains why terms like “resilience” often surface in response to inventive and stirring works by musicians, choreographers, photographers, painters, and sculptors. In Colonial Legacies: Contemporary Lens-Based Art and the Democratic Republic of Congo, art historian Gabriella Nugent centers on a small segment of the Congolese contemporary art scene. Her pointed and carefully researched study explores artworks by three contemporary artists (Sammy Baloji, Michèle Magema, Georges Senga) and one collective (Kongo Astronauts). The book contributes to the growing scholarship on photography and visual art in Africa through the lens of artists who engage with colonialism and its legacies. Because it specifically explores artworks that display complex representations of the past, it also suggests understandings of Congolese artistic practices that go well beyond celebrations of beauty and creative force in the face of adversity....
Colonial Legacies: Contemporary Lens-Based Art and the Democratic Republic of Congo by Gabriella Nugent
Pedro Monaville is associate professor of History at McGill University and the author of Students of the World: Global 1968 and Decolonization in the Congo (Duke University Press, 2022). firstname.lastname@example.org
Pedro Monaville; Colonial Legacies: Contemporary Lens-Based Art and the Democratic Republic of Congo by Gabriella Nugent. African Arts 2023; 56 (2): 93–95. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/afar_r_00713
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