21 Oct 2021—21:00
Decolonise/Reactivate: Archives and Representation
The conversation moderated by Desirée Desmarattes revolves around Ben Krewinkel's extensive collection on the visual representation of Africa through the photobook. But also, on the curatorial practice of Awa Konaté, focused on decolonial paradigms, therefore highlighting the archive as part of her methodology, while rethinking different approaches to institutional and public engagement in African cultural productions.
James Barnor: Accra/London - A Retrospective (Installation view, 19 May – 24 October 2021, Serpentine) © Zoe Maxwell
Awa Konaté is a London and Copenhagen-based Danish-Ivorian independent curator, researcher, and founder of the research platform Culture Art Society (CAS). Her curatorial practice is centred on decolonial paradigms to create accessibility to and bring into focus the art histography, theory, and practices of African and black diasporic artists for public programming and exhibitions.
Konaté specialises in photography, cinema, and other lens-based practices foregrounding archives as part of her curatorial methodology to rethink and facilitate different approaches to institutional and audience engagements to African cultural productions. She has worked with the likes of Serpentine Galleries, The Danish Film Institute, CIRCA, and her writings have been published in Third Text, Phaidon, Paletten Art Journal, and more. She is currently leading CAS’s curatorial research residency with The Showroom Gallery in London.
Coiffures traditionelles et modernes au Mali. Editions Populaires du Mali and Editions Delroisse, Paris n.d. (c. 1975) © Mamadou Kone
Ben Krewinkel (Maastricht 1975) works with his own and archive material from both public and private collections. After studying history (Thesis on The role women played in the struggle for independence in Mozambique) and photographic studies (Thesis on the Depiction of the 'Poor White' in South Africa in the 20th Century), the focus of his work is on the connection between historical and social issues, with an emphasis on Africa and the African diaspora. He published two photo books A Possible Life. (Nominated for the DutchDoc Award, 2012) and Looking for M. (2014) a visual road trip through Mozambique.
In addition to his photography, he teaches photography at the School of Journalism in Utrecht and worked for four years at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. He is also employed by the Stadsarchief Amsterdam as a member of the committee for the annual documentary Photo Assignment. A variety of artists and organizations employed him as a curator, exhibition and book designer.
Currently he is mostly occupied with the project Africa in the photobook which is about the changing visual representation of Africa as expressed through the photobook.
As a collector and owner of a private book collection he regularly writes about the collection and collaborates with other organizations. For example, he was involved in the exhibition and the book Photobook Belge (2019) and several exhibitions and talks on (parts of) the collection.
Currently he collaborates with the Parisian publisher Delpire & Co. on a publication and exhibition which are planned for the end of 2022 or 2023.
Desirée Desmarattes is one of the founding members of InterStruct Collective. Her research topics include postcolonialism, transnationalism and identity in visual and contemporary art. She completed her Masters in Art and Design for Public Space at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto. Her thesis dealt with the in/visible legacies of a colonial past in the public space of Porto. She graduated in Art Studies and French Linguistic Studies at the University Duisburg-Essen with an exchange degree in Photography at the Marmara University Istanbul.