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Accepted Paper:

Picturing Plants: Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Everyday Cultures of Modernity in Africa and the Caribbean  
Vera-Simone Schulz (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut)

Paper short abstract:

Focusing on contemporary art projects from Angola, the DRC and Puerto Rico, this paper investigates the ways how plants have been used by artists to investigate the stratigraphies of the everyday, revealing the toxicity of colonial regimes and coloniality, while pointing at possible futures.

Paper long abstract:

Art history has been increasingly dealing with issues related to the environment and the Anthropocene in recent years, forming part of the environmental humanities, and plants have found much renewed scholarly attention in art historical scholarship. Even more, however, plants have come to play key roles in the art world. This paper focuses on case studies and contemporary art projects from Africa and the Caribbean, particularly Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Puerto Rico in which plants take center stage. It interrogates how contemporary artists draw on plants to discuss colonial layers, and complex intersections between the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial. It investigates the ways how plants have been used by artists to investigate the stratigraphies of the everyday cultures of modernity in Africa and the Caribbean, but also how their deceitful display by colonial powers has been negotiated in these works, revealing the toxicity and tropical falsehoods of colonial regimes and coloniality that is on-going, while also pointing at possible futures.

Panel Eco003
Centering Ecologies in re-configuring Africa studies – emerging perspectives
  Session 3 Wednesday 2 October, 2024, -