Remembering the Present : Painting and Popular History in Zaire
About the book
This book combines ethnography with the study of art to present a fascinating new vision of African history. It contains the paintings of a single artist depicting Zaire's history, along with a series of ethnographic essays discussing local history, its complex relationship to forms of self-expression and self-understanding, and the aesthetics of contemporary urban African and Third World societies. As a collaboration between ethnographer and painter, this innovative study challenges text-oriented approaches to understanding history and argues instead for an event- and experience-oriented model, ultimately adding a fresh perspective to the discourse on the relationship between modernity and tradition. During the 1970s, Johannes Fabian encouraged Tshibumba Kanda Matulu to paint the history of Zaire. The artist delivered the work in batches, together with an oral narrative. Fabian recorded these statements along with his own question-and-answer sessions with the painter. The first part of the book is the complete series of 100 paintings, with excerpts from the artist's narrative and the artist-anthropologist dialogues. Part Two consists of Fabian's essays about this and other popular painting in Zaire. The essays discuss such topics as performance, orality, history, colonization, and popular art.
Johannes Fabian Biography
Johannes Fabian (born 19 May 1937) is an emeritus professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. His ethnographic and historical research focuses on religious movements, language, work, and popular culture in the Shaba mining region of Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo). His theoretical and critical work addresses questions of epistemology and history in anthropology, notably the influential book Time and the Other (1983), which has become a classic in the field of anthropology.Johannes Fabian was born in the German town of Glogau (which is now in Poland). He began his university studies in Bonn in 1956, and then moved on St. Gabriel Mission House in Mödling, Austria to study theology. His experiences in Austria led him to study anthropology in Munich, before undertaking a master's degree (1965) and PhD (1969) at the University of Chicago. After receiving his PhD, he took up appointments at a series of universities: in 1968 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; in 1973 at the University of Zaire; in 1974 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut; and finally moved to the University of Amsterdam in 1980, where he was a professor and chair of the department of cultural anthropology until his retirement in 2002. During this time he had visiting appointments in Bonn, Cologne, and Paris. His ethnographic research focuses on religious movements in Zaire and Congo. Fabian is most famous for his book Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes its Object (1983), a classic in the field of anthropology that had changed the way that anthropologists think about their relationship with the people they study and is an important work of postcolonial critique within anthropology. As the blurbs on the book put it, the book is "a radical epistemological critique of anthropological writing" (George Marcus, University of California, Irvine) and "Time and the Other is a critique of the notions that anthropologists are 'here and now,' their objects of study are 'there and then,' and that the 'other' exists in a time not contemporary with our own." His 1996 work, Remembering the Present: Paintings and popular history in Zaire was made in collaboration with the Congolese artist Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu.
Writings!Kung bushman kinship : Componential analysis and alternative interpretations (1965) Genres in an emerging tradition: An anthropological approach to religious communication (1974) Scratching the surface: Observations on the poetics of lexical borrowing in Shaba Swahili (1982) Swahili on the road: Notes on language in two nineteenth century travelogues (1983) Time and the Other: How anthropology makes its object (1983) Power and performance: Ethnographic explorations through proverbial wisdom and theater in Shaba, Zaire (1990) Remembering the Present: Painting and Popular History in Zaire (1996) Memory against culture: Arguments and Reminders (2007) Ethnography as commentary: writing from the virtual archi ... Read full biography
|Publisher:||University of California Press|
|Languages:||| English ||
|Illustrations:||32 colour illustrations, 131 b&w illustrations, 3 tables, 1 map|
|Publication date:||Dec. 19, 1996|
|First Publication Date:||None|
|Publication City/Country:||Berkerley, United States|