CAHIM Seminar

Bruno Sotto Mayor

Quo vadis ziz? Nemesis and Iconoclastic Gesture from Avant-garde movements in Central Africa and Beyond

Tue, May 15 2018, 10 AM
Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

Chokwe Ritual Specialist (samazemba, nganga mukanda, and ngombo) at Mwaat Yanvwa Court, 2013 (Photo: Bruno Sotto Mayor)

The oitocentos still seem endless, marked by the trial chromology of neoclassic power: the white supremacism that denies the African role in shaping the ancient and contemporary world; the racist ideology of black box renegating economic externalities and other's bodies, ecologies and senses; and the bloody red of modern war. The revolutionary attitude of the arrière-garde in re-mediating the reception of Central African sculptures in the interbellums has had little effect, not only on understanding the ontologies in play in the Great (w)ars along the Nile/Congo/Zambezi watersheds, but also in bridging the passage from realpolitik to protopolitik.

Bruno Sotto Mayor has studied political economics, social anthropology, and art history in Rio, New York, Berlin and Florence. He is writing his PhD dissertation after 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork on avant-garde movements in the Kasai basin (Angola/DRCongo) and archive research on sculptural traditions along the central-african watershed Nile/Congo/Zambezi. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Columbia University, Freie Universität Berlin, and the National Museum of Anthropology in Luanda. Bruno has received fellowships and awards from CNPq, Faperj, Capes/Cofecub, DAAD, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, and the Smithsonian.

CAHIM in collaboration with Art Histories and Aesthetic Pactices


Connecting Art Histories in the Museum – or short CAHIM – is a research and fellowship program combining academic and museum research with curatorship. Outstanding international young art historians are invited to investigate artistic and cultural interactions in the Mediterranean region, Asia, Africa, and Latin America based on the objects from the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Additional emphasis is placed on the museum display of the objects.

Connecting Art Histories in the Museum, a joint project of the KHI in Florence and the SMB, is directed by Hannah Baader and Gerhard Wolf (both KHI in Florence) and Michael Eissenhauer and Jörg Völlnagel (both SMB).