Chronic contributor and artist, Sammy Baloji has an exhibition underway in Berlin. His body of work, ‘Mémoire’ (from 2006) is on show at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Hiroshimastraße 17) until next week, Thursday 24 October.
Over to our friends at AfricAvenir to say more:
“In his series of photographs entitled „Mémoire”, Sammy Baloji links black and white photographs from Belgian colonial times with contemporary pictures of the mining town Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. A colonial past with slavery and exploitative hierarchies meets fallow industrial ruins and tips. The large-sized photo-montages distinctly connect the colonial past with post-colonial exploitation, an exploitation of humans and resources on which the so-called “progress” of Western technologies is based.
„Mémoire“ shows the heritage of colonial times – for society, politics, and the environment – and at the same time points towards the huge economical gain colonial masters had from the mines. “Mémoire” calls upon us to rethink the consequences of the “development” of resource extraction areas and emphasizes the rights of the affected communities to freely dispose of their wealth of resources.
We are pleased to present an artistic perspective on the resource exploitation `green` technologies rely on with „Mémoire” as part of our long-term project„Paradoxes of Sustainabilty – How socially just are ‚green‘ technologies really?“. The exhibition is presented in the framework of the “Week on Alternative Resources” (12th – 19th October 2013.)
Sammy Baloji about „Mémoire“
“My previous works were dedicated to colonial architecture. To some extent, my current works have a direct connection with the colonial past, which gave birth to the cities of Katanga province. These cities were built upon mines. The latter belong to Katanga’s history. The essence of my question lies in the daily life of Congolese people. They are traces of the recent past, which is also present.””
Sammy Baloji’s ‘Kolwezi’, photojournalistic works from DRC can be viewed in the April edition of the Chronic.