Christine Meisner (Germany)
is working for long time on the colonial and postcolonial history of African countries. On the occasion of her stay in Poland, she reread the novel Heart of Darkness by Polish writer Joseph Conrad. The story of the book is based on Conrad's own travel into the country of Congo during the times of Colonization from the Belgian King Leopold II. In her present project flashback the artist wants to follow the writer's journey by places and also by his mind and confront this colonial history with present political occurrences on this places. Before Conrad went to Congo, he undersigned a working contract in Bruessels for his journey, took leave in Warsaw and boarded his ship to Africa from Antwerpen. After the starting research about Joseph Conrad's background issues and Congolese immigration in Warsaw, the next step will be Belgium. The places where the writer was at his time and which are connected with this history, like the Africa Museum in Tervuren, built by King Leopold for instance. For drawing a bow to the present situation in Bruessels it is obvious to view the premises of the EU institution, where the decision took place sending an EU-Military Corps to DRCongo for supervising the elections in July 2006. Apart from that, the Congolese district in Brussels is interesting for looking to the immigration exchange of DRCongo and Europe. Observing these travelers was already started by the artist in Warsaw by meeting immigrants from DRCongo. Finally the third step will be a travel to Kisangani/former Stanleyville, where the destination of Conrad's venture was, to complete the project's journey and to confront his view with the present situation inside the country of DRCongo. The project will be presented in Warsaw and most probably in Germany. It will take a form of a installation with video and drawings. A publication documenting the project will be published and distributed in Poland and abroad.
- Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka