Heritage researcher Rob Jacobs and filmmaker Anne Reijniers discuss visual studies of city spaces and groups of artists and activists who work in Brussels and Kinshasa to raise awareness of the vestiges of colonialism.
The film Échangeur is the first outcome of an ongoing exchange between young Congolese and Belgian makers, an ongoing exchange looking for ways to relate to the colonial past, its images and the continuation of colonial structures in the present. In the streets of the metropolis of Kinshasa, young Congolese imagine their version of the colonial past. Around an empty pedestal that once carried a Belgian monument emerges an imaginary city where archival footage, artistic performances and present-day Kinshasa interact.
Filmmaker Anne Reijniers and researcher Rob Jacobs, who initiated the project, will explain how their interest in Belgium’s contested colonial monuments brought them to collaborate with performance artists in the capital of DR Congo, and they will share their views on collaborative image-making as a not-unproblematic way of shaping new narratives.