Andrea Stultiens research project Reframing PJU among awarded projects of the Idea Generator (NWA-IDG)
Stultiens project, together with 36 other projects, is awarded with 50.000 euros to further investigate the idea for one year. This funding comes from the Idea Generator program of the Dutch National Research Agenda (NWA)
Reframing PJU is a contribution to current discussions on the decolonisation of museum collections and the development of experimental qualitative research methods. It is an attempt to contribute to nuanced understandings of African pasts and presents. This is, in this case, done through engagements with photographs and film footage produced by Dutch amateur anthropologist Paul Julien (1901-2001).
These photographs were produced between 1932 and 1962 during the last decades of colonisation of large parts of the African continent. They were produced in relation to now outdated methods of research. Some of them have been published with texts that use a problematic language to speak about others. However, dismissing the photographs for these, in themselves troubling, reasons seems to only be an easy way out.
What if a picture offers an unexpected window to a past that is not so easily accessible? What if your ancestor, who you did not see before, appears on a photograph? What can we learn from connecting particular presents to pasts documented by this particular traveller?
With this research new information and contexts are added to Julien’s photographs and films that is part of the collection of the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. This is done through collaborations with people who have a direct connection with what is shown on the footage.
Partners in this project are: Bridging Humanities / Prof. Dr. Mirjam de Bruin, KABK and the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.
Read more about Reframing PJU
Initially trained as a photographer (BFA, MFA, MA) at several universities in the Netherlands, Andrea finalised a PhD ‘in and through the arts’ at Leiden University in November 2018. Her dissertation consists of 8 artist books – each focusing on a particular collection of photographs encountered in Uganda -, numerous exhibitions related to these books, and a thesis. She now uses her artistic practice as a research method to activate informal and formal ‘archives’ in order to investigate the historical and contemporary ‘image’ of particular realities on the African continent and the photographic practices that ‘made them’. The actions that are part of her practice range from producing and distributing photographs to initiating various modes of collective making, and discursive writing.
While Andrea continues to engage with photographs in and from Uganda, among others to make a follow up to The Kaddu Wasswa Archive, her main focus is at the moment the activation of self-made anthropologist Paul Julien (NL, 1901-2001)’s legacy.
NWA Idea Generator (NWA-IDG)
(Young) Researchers from the entire public knowledge chain were invited to submit research proposals for small projects with a high-risk-high-gain focus and with a potential for societal impact.