Moving Pictures, Controversial Memories (Cinemaf)


Financement : 
Labex « Les passés dans le présent »
Durée : 
3 ans
Responsables : 
Monica Heintz Damien Mottier (Université Paris Nanterre - HAR)

The goal of this project is to undertake an interdisciplinary analysis (ethnology, cinema studies, history of representations, fine arts) in collaboration with heritage partners (Quai Branly Museum, Albert-Kahn Departmental Museum, the French Cinema Archives CNC) on issues to do with analysis, remediation, and reuse of cinema materials developed in controversial historical context (colonisation in particular).

This project has three complementary components:

  1. A research study focused on a film corpus on African societies for the period between 1920 and 1940, including fiction films, ethnological films, colonial propaganda films, amateur films, all found in public or private collections;
  2. Testing new research protocols and different forms of dialogue around these objects with the descendants of the populations who were filmed, along with researchers, and artists in the African countries concerned;
  3. The establishment of a space for comparison between different contexts of appropriation of this kind of material to pursue in-depth reflection on the film corpus on Africa, compared with other regions of the world (the Amazon, the Pacific, Siberia, etc.) where the history of remediation practices is different and older still.


  • Histoire des Arts et des Représentations (HAR) - EA 4414
  • Laboratoire d'Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative (LESC) - UMR 7186
  • Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
  • Laboratoire AIAC EA 4010 : Arts des images et art contemporain - Université Paris 8
  • Centre national du film et de l'image animée
  • Centre for the Less Good Idea
  • Institut des Mondes africains (IMAF UMR 8171 - CNRS/ HESS)
  • Musée départemental Albert-Kahn
  • Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Bénin
  • Centre Régional Francophone de Recherches Avancées en Sciences Sociales, CEREFREA, Université de Bucarest