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Ethnographic Museums and Memories: Two Screenings

Anja Goebel, »Le terrain du peuple«, 2015 and Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, »Secteur IX B«, 2015

January 19 and January 26, 2016, 2:15pm

Kunstraum of Leuphana University Lüneburg, Campus Hall 25


Since Alain Resnais’ and Chris Markers film »Les Statues meurent aussi« from 1953 ethnographic museums have been the topic of filmic and artistic critique mostly due the doubtful origin of their collections as looted art under colonial times. As part of the seminar »Art and Ethnography. History of a relationship in the 20th and 21st centuries« two film screeings will take place on the 19th and 26th of January. Both films take up the thread of Marker/Resnais, both in a very different manner.

»Le terrain du peuple«, 2015, documentary, 35 min
A film by Anja Goebel; the director is present
Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 2:15pm

What if there were more farmers on a museum ground in a West African country than visitors inside the exhibition hall? What if a museum concept overtaken from Europe contradicted the local traditions? And what if a local community reclaimed the same piece of land on which the whole nation shall be represented? »Le terrain du peuple« portraits the National Museum of Burkina Faso from different angles and rises questions about the right place and adequate strategies to conserve the cultural heritage of the country. Thereby, the film entangles poetic, performative and documentary aspects.

»Secteur IX B«, 2015, 42 min
A feature film by Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc
Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 2:15pm

Taking inspiration from »L’Afrique fantôme« – the controversial diary by French surrealist writer Michel Leiris recounting his participation in the ambitious Dakar-Djibouti ethnographic expedition of the 1930s – Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s first feature film reflects on identity, cultural appropriation, and the transference of memory through objects. The French artist and filmmaker has amassed a body of work that engages with the history of colonial development, focusing on the decolonization of African states in the 1960s and exploring their reverberations in terms of cultural identity and collective amnesia.

The film: Researches of Betty, a french anthropologist, focus on Dakar-Djibouti Mission memory. In between IFAN Muséum in Dakar and Musée de l’Homme in Paris, the young woman improves some methods to closely achieve her goal: accuracy of scientific discourse. Michel Leiris’ diary, »Ghost Africa«, becomes the obsession of the researcher. The film tends to address political issues as well as scientific and artistic narratives, which echoes still inform national and international relations in France today.