Dierk Schmidt, Some Notes on the Project “The Division of the Earth – Tableaux on the Legal Synopses of the Berlin Africa Conference”
Is a pictorial language able to convey a juridical abstraction, such as the geo-political division of Africa after the Berlin Africa Conference (Congo Conference), in a way that may conceptualise colonial rule in 1884/85 – and its manifold grave consequences – as a historical by-product of Europe’s political and aesthetic modernity? Is there any potential in the image of genocide – while acknowledging the “impossibility” of its role in representation? My paper will follow these questions and limits, with a focus on their translation into the medium of painting, as well as their reception and the inherent facets of a complex discussion in Germany and Namibia. Some images, sounds or other media used in the following presentation are subject to copyright restrictions that prevent them being shown. In order to provide a complete record of the conference, these items have been blurred or silenced. Should we obtain permission to use these images, sounds and other media in the future the films will be updated.