Departmental News

Colloquium Speakers Series Fall 2017;

29 September, 2017, Anthropology Department, AP 246

Filip de Boeck; Reframing the City between anthropology and photography

On the occasion of the opening of “Urban Now, City Life in Congo”, an exhibition by anthropologist Filip De Boeck and photographer Sammy Baloji at The Power Plant, a leading Canadian non-collecting art gallery (Toronto, 29 Sept – 31 December 2017), this talk will address the possibilities of combining ethnography and photography to de-center urban theory and reframe urban anthropology, in an attempt to explore in novel ways what living, and living together, might mean in Central Africa’s urban worlds today.

Anthropologist Filip De Boeck is based at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA) at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Since 1987 he has conducted extensive field research in both rural and urban communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

His most recent book (co-authored with photographer Sammy Baloji) is “Suturing the City. Living Together in Congo’s Urban Worlds” (London: Autograph ABP, 2016).

Other book publications include “Kinshasa. Tales of the Invisible City”, a joint book project with photographer Marie-Françoise Plissart (Ghent/

Tervuren: Ludion / Royal Museum of Central Africa, 2004) and “Makers and Breakers. Children and Youth in Postcolonial Africa”, which he co-edited with Alcinda Honwana (Oxford: James Currey, 2005).

De Boeck also curated several exhibitions, including the award-winning

“Kinshasa: The Imaginary City” , for the ninth International Architecture Biennial in Venice, and (together with Sammy Baloji) “Urban Now: City Life in Congo” (currently on display at The Power Plant in Toronto). He is also active as a filmmaker. In 2010, he released Cemetery State, a 70 minute long documentary film which examines urban youth’s politics of death in a Kinshasa graveyard. More recently he also co-authored the video-installation “The Tower. A Concrete Utopia” (2015).

 This talk is co-sponsored by the Centre for Ethnography UTSC and African Studies