Landscape as Witness - #3
I am delighted to say that I ended up receiving the funding from IADT that enabled me to attended the Colonial and Postcolonial Landscapes international congress in Lisbon, from the 16-18th of January. Although primarily centred around architecture, the subject matter of the congress frequently overlapped with subjects that I am exploring within my own research project. It explored the likes of oral history, colonial public works, the documentation of colonial history, as well as the impact of colonial infrastructures on their surrounding landscapes.
The exhibition connected to the event, Colonizing Africa, focused mainly on images from the reports produced by the Colonial Public Works over the last 100 years of Portuguese colonization in Angola and Mozambique:
[The exhibition] shows 114 images out of 1300 photographs from 64 reports, among hundreds of those produced, aiming to illustrate the last period of Portuguese colonization in Africa, which started at the end of the 19th century. The Public Works reports, albeit being essentially a form of communication between technicians, allow one to retrace some of the dynamics of colonial life and the construction processes of the African landscape produced by the late Portuguese colonization. A built scenario which resulted from economic exploitation, negotiation and power demonstration taken within the logic of colonial governance.
All in all, this was a trip well worth taking. It was incredibly beneficial to observe a wide variety of different viewpoints around subjects that are similar to those that my project is dealing with, enabling me to leave the conference with a fresh perspective on my own body of work.
On the 24th of January I attended the Dublin launch of Point.51, a print magazine of "long-form journalism and documentary photography exploring essential contemporary issues in Europe". A good friend of mine (Jonathan Ho) had a project featured in this issue of the magazine, and gave a short, informative talk on his work at the launch. Copies of the magazine can be purchased from the Point.51 website (https://point51magazine.com/), as well as The Library Project in Dublin (https://tlp.photoireland.org/).
Regarding my own project, I have recently reedited the first 3 chapters of my thesis, a process that has given me great insight into my work and how much knowledge on the subject I have gained since I originally wrote each chapter. Other than that I am currently designing the layout of my corresponding photobook, something that I will hopefully be able to share more of in the near future.