Photography

• An exhibition by Anna Ekman & Cecilia Järdemar together with Freddy Tsimba and students from the Institut National des Arts, Kinshasa at CFF March 9 – April 2.
• Opening March 9 17.00–20.00 in presents of the artists.  At CFF, Tjärhovsgatan 44 Stockholm.
• A seminar will take place March 29 18.00–19.30 with the artists and invited speakers. More information about the project is to be found at facebook.com/ekman.jardemar

During the great awakening that swept over Sweden in the 1800s, the Swedish Covenant Church started sending missionaries to Congo. Soon, Sweden was one of the biggest operators on site. The missionaries brought photographic equipment and documented the culture in Congo, these images then toured around Sweden to convey the message of the mission. The missionaries were also part of a process where they documented the existing culture in the places where they settled – before it was altered or destroyed as part of the colonial civilization project.

How can we deal with this type of images today, from a Swedish perspective, and from a Congolese perspective? How can historic images find a new context, outside the unequal power structures that prevailed when they arose? The initiators Ekman and Järdemar invited the Congolese sculptor Freddy Tsimba and art students from Kinshasa to create new work together based on the old glass negatives.

The exhibition is a part of an ongoing process, based on the borrowed archive pictures from the Swedish Missionary Society and the heirs of the missionaries. The work will result in a book and several exhibitions in Sweden and Democratic Republic of the Congo in the coming years and a digital archive will return to Congo.

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