Accepted Paper:

‘Unhoming’ Home Movies  

Authors:

Alexander Schellow (erg - ecole de recherche graphique Brussels)
Anna Seiderer (University Paris 8)

Paper short abstract:

Base of ‘Unhoming’ Home Movies is the creation of an online archive of colonial family films. The research project investigates how an experimental handling of such material from the Belgian colonial period can contribute, by artistic means, to a critical perception of these images of the past.

Paper long abstract:

Unhoming is a notion by Homi Bhaba, who literally translates Freud’s term “das Unheimliche” (the Uncanny) into English. Freud uses it to name the estrangement that accompanies an experience of something familiar as threatening within the sphere of the intimate. Bhaba suggests the unhomely as a category to undermine binary oppositions that any kind of postcolonial project inherits from the colonial dispositif particularly as gestures of ‘othering’. It appears when lines between the private and the public, the home and the world are breaking down (Bhaba 1992).

At the centre of ‘Unhoming’ Home Movies is the creation of an online archive of colonial family films. The research project investigates how an experimental handling of family film material from the Belgian colonial period can contribute, by artistic means, to a critical perception of these historical images of the past.

This research started with the official belgian colonial archive initiating with the Armand Hutereau expedition in northern Congo (1911-1913) to 1960 with the advent of Independence and opened up to family films shouted in the same period, in the former colony.

Taking our point of departure from Alexander Schellow's approach to animation as a memory practice, we went on to develop scores in order to detach the images from their discourse and to apprehend them as objects of memory (Schellow-Seiderer 2017, 2020).

The artistic project is yet working on an online archive of belgian colonial film archives which opens up critical frames by which to apprehend those historical and personal images.

Panel P27b
Colonial Film Archives: Interrogations and Interventions