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The Assembly #11: Sandrine Colard in conversation with Léonard Pongo

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
October 29, 2020
Watch now the Assembly #11, organized by FOMU. In this conversation, the historian of modern and contemporary African arts and photography Dr. Sandrine Colard talks with the artist Léonard Pongo.

Within Africa and its worldwide diasporas, the photographic medium has a long history of violence and abuse. Images of slavery, lynching, ethnographic “curiosities,” colonialism, apartheid and land exploitations, have contributed to subjugate the pictured subject, but also, to awaken viewers to the represented injustices. 2020 has symbolized the epitome of that power of indignation, with the video of George Floyd’s murder igniting a worldwide outrage demanding racial justice. Yet, the place of beauty in photographs of black lives, their homes and environments, have less readily been perceived and circulated as a legitimate and powerful means of resistance, or has sometimes been suspected of aestheticizing tragedy or suffering. This roundtable invites an artist who make a resolute use of beauty in his practice as an amendment for the underrepresentation in black everydayness, milieu, or history.

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