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Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture (Hardback)

Sarah Van Beurden

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ISBN 10: 0821421905 / ISBN 13: 9780821421901
Edité par Ohio University Press, United States, 2015
Neuf(s) Etat : New Couverture rigide
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Language: English . Brand New Book. This masterful study of Belgian and Congolese collecting and exhibitions of African arts, and the murky heritage politics so implied, offers insights for understanding colonial and postcolonial histories of representation anywhere in the world. -Allen F. Roberts, author of A Dance of Assassins: Performing Early Colonial Hegemony in the Congo Together, the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and the Institut des Musees Nationaux du Zaire (IMNZ) in the Congo have defined and marketed Congolese art and culture. In Authentically African, Sarah Van Beurden traces the relationship between the possession, definition, and display of art and the construction of cultural authenticity and political legitimacy from the late colonial until the postcolonial era. Her study of the interconnected histories of these two institutions is the only work of its kind in English. Drawing on Flemish-language sources other scholars have been unable to access, Van Beurden illuminates the politics of museum collections, showing how the IMNZ became a showpiece in Mobutu Sese Seko s effort to revive authentic African culture and reconstructing debates among Belgian and Congolese museum professionals. She also casts light on the art market, showing how the IMNZ s traveling displays helped generate an international market for Congolese art. Authentically African tells a new history of decolonization as a struggle over cultural categories, the possession of cultural heritage, and the right to define and represent cultural identities. N° de réf. du libraire AAJ9780821421901

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : Authentically African: Arts and the ...

Éditeur : Ohio University Press, United States

Date d'édition : 2015

Reliure : Hardback

Etat du livre :New

A propos de ce titre

Synopsis :

“This masterful study of Belgian and Congolese collecting and exhibitions of African arts, and the murky heritage politics so implied, offers insights for understanding colonial and postcolonial histories of representation anywhere in the world.”
—Allen F. Roberts, author of A Dance of Assassins: Performing Early Colonial Hegemony in the Congo


Together, the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and the Institut des Musées Nationaux du Zaire (IMNZ) in the Congo have defined and marketed Congolese art and culture. In Authentically African, Sarah Van Beurden traces the relationship between the possession, definition, and display of art and the construction of cultural authenticity and political legitimacy from the late colonial until the postcolonial era. Her study of the interconnected histories of these two institutions is the only work of its kind in English.

Drawing on Flemish-language sources other scholars have been unable to access, Van Beurden illuminates the politics of museum collections, showing how the IMNZ became a showpiece in Mobutu Sese Seko’s effort to revive “authentic” African culture and reconstructing debates among Belgian and Congolese museum professionals. She also casts light on the art market, showing how the IMNZ’s traveling displays helped generate an international market for Congolese art.
Authentically African tells a new history of decolonization as a struggle over cultural categories, the possession of cultural heritage, and the right to define and represent cultural identities.

Review:

“This is an important book that fills a gap in our knowledge about museums in this geographical area as well as our understanding of the role of political ideologies, a topic which has been well covered in South Africa, for example, but not as much by scholars in other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. ... An impressive analysis.” —Museum Anthropology Review

Authentically African is an impressively researched study of material culture and its institutions in the construction of Congolese cultural and political projects. Van Beurden’s fascinating examination of objects and collections in cultural and political economies makes a significant contribution to several bodies of scholarship, from those focused on material culture, heritage, and identity politics to those concerned with African cultural institutions as part of the global landscape.”
—Joanna Grabski, Warner Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, Denison University

“Van Beurden’s study is unique to the field because it is the only examination that solely focuses on these museums that is written in English. ... Complete with a detailed index and a comprehensive bibliography, this well-researched book is a welcome addition to academic and museum libraries, whose collections focus on African art and the history of cultural production through display.”
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