Exhibition: Look at you. How do we look at the African continent, and how do they look at us?

This ASC exhibition is a duo exhibition with work by Frouwkje Smit and Karine Versluis. How do we look at the African continent, and how do they look at us? Which images are presented to us in the media, at school, and by development organizations? What are the elements that construct our collective memory? The works in Look at you invite the visitor to think about prejudice and the way we construct an image of the other.

In the archive installation ‘Een kind onder de evenaar wordt later vaak een bedelaar…’ visual artist Frouwkje Smit has been collecting images and text about the African continent from the media since 2008. Smit finds that the way the continent is portrayed is subject to many biased ideas and clichés, and her expanding archive reflects this. By confronting the audience with this collection of repetitive and cliché imagery, she attempts to unravel the imagery of our collective memory in a critical way. Her work is developed in collaboration with Platform IFAA and was exhibited in Arnhem, Amsterdam and Belgium.

Exhibition Look at youDocumentary photographer Karine Versluis traveled to Lagos (Nigeria) in 2012 where she met a number of young women who had come from eastern Nigeria to Lagos to start a new life for themselves. Some of them dreamed of going further, to Europe, because they had heard great stories about it. Versluis photographed the posters that hung above their beds, with images of a perfect and romantic Western world. Photographs of these posters are part of the project One Day I’m Gonna Make It that was shown in Humanity House in The Hague in 2013.

During the opening on Tuesday 11 February 2014, 16.00-17.15, there will be a debate and discussion about the way our perception of the other is formed. Frouwkje Smit and Karine Versluis will dialogue with Felix U. Kaputu, who was born in the Democratic Republic in Congo. He is a Professor specialized in African Studies, African Politics, Literature Religion, Diaspora, Art and Pedagogy.

The exhibition can been seen in the corridors of the third floor, from 30 January until 25 April 2014.

Works for the exhibition are made possible by Mondriaan Fund, Humanity House and Platform IFAA.
English translation: Isabella Rozendaal

Listen to the interview with the artists that was recorded at the African Studies Centre by VPRO's Bureau Buitenland on Friday 30 January. The interview is followed by a comment on Africa's image by Seada Nourhussen, Africa editor at newspaper Trouw.

Date, time and location

30 January 2014 to 25 April 2014