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Invitation for an evening with Manthia Diawara and Joe Osae Addo


Vlaams Cultuurhuis De Brakke Grond - Nes 43 Amsterdam

The Prince Claus Fund, together with African Architecture Matters, invite you for an evening with Malian film-maker and scholar Manthia Diawara and Ghanaian architect and chair of the ArchiAfrika network Joe Osae Addo.

Manthia Diawara will present his new book, African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics, as well as his film Maison Tropicale. Manthia Diawara is former jury member of the Prince Claus Awards and director of the Africana Studies Program at the New York University.

Following the screening of Maison Tropicale, there will be an public discussion about Ownership and Belonging in African Art, Architecture and Film.

When: Thursday October 28

Where: Vlaams Cultuurhuis De Brakke Grond - Nes 43 Amsterdam

Time: 19.00 hrs

Admission: free


19.30 hrs Introduction by Els van der Plas, Director of the Prince Claus Fund and Manthia Diawara

19.45 hrs Screening of Maison Tropicale

20.45 hrs Discussion Manthia Diawara and Joe Osae Addo

21.15 hrs End of programme, drinks

Click here to register (there is a limited amount of seats available)

The evening will be organised by the Prince Claus Fund in cooperation with African Architecture Matters and the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal.

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Still from Maison Tropicale, showing (left) director Manthia Diawara and (right) Mireille Ngatsé, a former owner of the Maison Tropicale in Brazzaville. Maison Tropicale was shown at the Portugese pavilion at the 2007 Venice biennale (Courtesy Manthia Diawara/Maumaus)

About Maison Tropicale

The Maison Tropicale, was a house designed by architect and designer Jean Prouvé between 1949 and 1951. The prefabricated aluminium structures were modular, made to be flat-packed, constructed and dismantled with ease. They were intended to address the shortage of housing in the French colonies of West Africa, but only three prototypes were ever made.

Manthia Diawara’s 58-minute documentary Maison Tropicale (2008) takes its starting point in another artist’s work: Ângela Ferreira’s project about these buildings, shown in the Portuguese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007. Through interviews with Ferreira, the people she meets, government officials, residents and former owners of the properties in the Republic of the Congo and Niger, Diawara examines notions of cultural patrimony and illuminates issues surrounding African identity and art within the context of post-colonial debate and the legacy of Modernism.

Les Maisons Tropicales were removed from Africa in 2000, bearing the scars of general neglect and civil war. Subsequently returned to France, restored, then exhibited in the USA and Europe, they were sold for millions of dollars, a far cry from their original utopian function and social context.

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Cover of the book ‘African Film’ The publication focuses on new trends in African cinemas from the 1990s to the present. Afro-pessimism has given way to a new self-confidence, paired with a departure from ideological constraints such as social realism or nationalism.

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The Prince Claus Fund: Culture is a Basic Need

The Prince Claus Fund actively seeks international cultural collaborations with partners of excellence in spaces of need. The Prince Claus Fund provides immediate cultural rescue as well as support to sustainable cultural processes. It takes initiatives to raise awareness on the importance of culture in everyday life and for development. The Fund works in the spirit of Prince Claus’ belief that one cannot develop people, but people develop themselves. The Prince Claus Fund is based in Amsterdam and is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

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The Afrika Museum discloses traditional and contemporary African art, and building and housing in Africa and African societies. The museum’s inspiring presentations and special activities allow a wide range of visitors to get acquainted with the wealth of Africa’s various cultures.

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