African Mirror

Mischa Hedinger
Switzerland 2019 | 84 min | engl. subtitled

Fri, 31-May-19 01:30 PM

Sun, 02-Jun-19 02:00 PM

For decades, Swiss trav­eller and film­mak­er René Gardi (1909-2000) explained the African con­ti­nent and its inhab­i­tants to us. In books, tele­vi­sion pro­grams and films, he waxed poetic about the beau­ti­ful naked “sav­ages” and the pre-modern era in which they appar­ent­ly lived. This sup­pos­ed­ly idyl­lic world became Gardi’s par­adise, as Africa was trans­formed into a pro­jec­tion screen for the desires of the audi­ence back home.
The film AFRICAN MIRROR tells the story using mate­ri­als from Gardi’s recent­ly opened archive, whose ambiva­lent pic­tures mirror our Euro­pean self-con­cep­tion in myriad ways. The film reveals image pro­duc­tion as a form of colo­nial­ism and shows how we have refused to truly look into this mirror to this very day.