Tervuren Invisible

Tervuren invisible (2007) is a videowork based on a critical interview with the Congolese painter Francis Mampuya. This interview was done in 2007 in Belgium, while Mampuya was there for a solo-exhibition in the framework of the Belgo-Congolese cultural project Yambi. This video is part of “ôtre k’ ôtre”, a video-installation by Kristin Rogghe & Matthias De Groof in collaboration with the Congolese collective Mungongo Ya Sika.

In a reflection on the role of Belgian’s Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren – also called the AfricaMuseum – Mampuya talks about its colonial role in the past and its current, more invisible but not less powerful role. Tervuren becomes a metaphor for ‘white’ projects that, under the cloak of ‘cultural exchange’, aim at archiving and observing African culture. With the recent renovation and renewal of the AfricaMuseum, his words and vision only gained prophetic value.


After studying Fine Arts in Kinshasa for a year, Francis Mampuya (born 22. November 1967 in Kinshasa) chose to move on to avoid an academicism that asphyxiated him. With two friends he cofounded the “Libristes” group, favouring artistic freedom. Finally each member went their own way, but the seed had been sown. The “Libristes“ group influenced the Congolese art scenes considerably and developed methods of performances, installations and collage, often using recycled objects. In 1997, Mampuya was awarded the Missio prize in Aachen, Germany, where he lived and worked for 9 months. Francis Mampuya’s universe alternates between semi figurative and abstract art, the abstraction always being suggestive. Anthropos / the human being is at the centre of his work, as is injustice in all its forms, the horrors that African migrants experience on route to Europe, the ruination of environments and a so often disregarded, disremembered Africa.


Kristin Rogghe studied philosophy at the University of Leuven and the Universidade de Lisboa and earned a postgraduate degree in Transmedia at the LUCA School of Arts in Brussels, where she applied herself in experimental documentary and video-arts. She received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue Media Studies in New York, and took part in the UnionDocs Program for Documentary Arts. Since 2010 she has been working as a dramaturge, and in 2016 she joined the Royal Flemish Theatre KVS as city dramaturge. Kristin Rogghe is also a prolific author of poetry, reviews, interviews and essays (i.a. Bondgenootschap, about the ideas of Achille Mbembe and superdiversity in Flemish-Dutch theatre, in From TINA to TAMARA, 2014). As filmmaker and videographer she has created various films and video-installations, like ôtre k’ôtre (in collaboration with Matthias De Groof and the Congolese collective Mungongo Ya Sika, 2006), comfusao (in collaboration with Benjamin Vandewalle and various dancers and videographers in Mozambique and South Africa, 2008), Lobi (in collaboration with eight other artists in Kinshasa, with support from VAF, 2010) and au fil du temps (in collaboration with Guy Kabeya, 2011).


Matthias De Groof is a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with the University of Antwerp. He has held fellow appointments at the New York University (Tisch School of the Arts) as a Fulbright and BAEF scholar; the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies with the KONE-Foundation; the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence of the Bayreuth University in Germany. He has Master’s degrees in Philosophy (HIW – KU Leuven), International Relations (UC Louvain), Cinema Studies (University of Antwerp) and African Studies (Uganda Martyrs University). After his PhD in Cinema Studies on African cinema, he studied postcolonial film theory as a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). At the University of Antwerp, he taught the courses ‘World Cinema,’ ‘Aesthetics,’ and ‘Curating & Exhibiting’. His scholarly work has been published by Third Text, Cambridge Scholars, Columbia University Press, Visual Anthropology, Francofonia, Imaginations, Journal of African Cinema, Image [&] Narrative, Artl@s Bulletin, Ethische Perspectieven, Black Camera, L’Harmattan, Sternberg Press and Wallflower Press. His edited book on Lumumba in the Arts is published by Leuven University Press. He is regularly invited to talk in non-academic contexts, to curate film programs and to write for magazines. His own award-winning films (Lobi Kuna, Palimpsest, Diorama, …) have been presented at venues like the IFFR, Media City, Cannes Pan-African Film Festival, and FIFA.