Afro Digital Kit

Afro Digital Kit

Jochen BECKER concluded his residency at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen with an open-air video lecture. The experimental agit film RocketKitKongoKit by Craig Baldwin and cosmopolitan journey of discovery Afro@Digital by Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda examine and discuss the image of a post-colonial Africa caught between rocket technology, information revolution and civil war.

RocketKitKongoKit (30 min., 1986, USA) is an iconoclastic, kaleidoscopic tour de force through the history of Belgian Congo (later Zaïre, today DR Congo). Using found footage, the Californian film-maker Craig Baldwin constructs a connection between plans outlined by the West-German rocket manufacturer OTRAG and the CIA conspiracy around Mobutu’s government. Assembled like a model kit, the film proposes an alternative historiography for post-colonial Congo.

This was contrasted with footage from the video reportage Afro@Digital (52 min., 2003, CD/FR) which discusses the far-reaching consequences of digital communication technologies throughout Africa and the continent’s burgeoning self-esteem as a result. Congolese director Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda visited a large number of filmmakers, musicians, program directors and engineers active in this new Africa.

Jochen BECKER works as an author, lecturer and curator. He is a founding member of metroZones—Center for Urban Affairs and has (co-)edited several books including bignes? (2001); Kabul/Teheran 1979ff (2006) and Urban Prayers (2011), and (co-)curated exhibitions such as the Urban Cultures of Global Prayers (2012/13, NGBK Berlin, Camera Austria, Graz) and Self Made Urbanism Rome, NGBK Berlin, Teatro Valle Occupato Rome (2013). He is artistic director of the Global Prayers project at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and will begin a position as director of the art and architecture program at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm in 2014.

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