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Lecture | The 9th Adriaan Gerbrands Lecture


  • Sammy Baloji
  • Prof. dr. Filip De Boeck
Thursday 28 November 2019
Adriaan Gerbrands Lectures
Museum Volkenkunde
Steenstraat 1
2312 BS Leiden
Grote Zaal

The 9th Adriaan Gerbrands Lecture will be delivered by Sammy Baloji and Filip De Boeck

Starting from our own practice, a collaborative ‘photo-writing’ between a visual artist and an anthropologist, this presentation will reflect on the possibilities of combining various artistic and anthropological approaches and inroads into the city (in our own case this means the urban contexts of the Global South, in particular Central Africa). To what extent do ethnography and photography (or film and video) reveal a shared methodological possibility to move beyond the urban surface and to reach into the more intimate folds where urban life is generated?

Born in Katanga, a resource-rich region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sammy Baloji explores the cultural, architectural, and industrial heritage of the region, as well as a questioning of the impact of the Belgian colonization. Colliding reality and representation, his works exposes past tensions and present entanglements.

Filip De Boeck is a Professor of Anthropology at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA), a research center based at the University of Leuven. He is actively involved in teaching, promoting, coordinating, and supervising research in and on Africa. In recent years his work has focused on the politics of youth  as well as on issues concerning urban infrastructures and 'urbanity' in central Africa.

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Related events

Adriaan Gerbrands Lecture

The annual Adriaan Gerbrands Lecture is a joint initiative of the Fund for Ethnology Leiden, the National Museum for Ethnology (Museum Volkenkunde), the Beeld voor Beeld Documentary Film Festival and the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (Leiden University). The lecture intends to promote academic and popular interest in research combining material culture studies, the anthropology of art, and visual anthropology. As early as the 1960s, Gerbrands pointed out the theoretical and practical challenges emerging from the overlap between these fields. Gerbrands (1917-1997) held a chair at the Leiden Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, was deputy director of the National Museum of Ethnology, and an early advocate of ethnographic film in the Netherlands.

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