Filip De Boeck
‘The Hole of the World’: Topographies
of Urban Life in Central Africa

Lumiar Cité

© Sammy Baloji

© Sammy Baloji - Lecture Filip De Boeck ‘The Hole of the World’: Topographies of Urban Life in Central Africa 2017

The Belgian anthropologist Filip De Boeck (University of Leuven) will speak about some of the ideas underlying ‘Suturing the City. Living Together in Congo’s Urban Worlds’ (2016), a book he published in collaboration with Congolese photographer Sammy Baloji, in an attempt to rethink the urban archive and constitute it in alternative ways. If the (Central African) urban landscape seems to refuse inhabitation and appears as a black hole that makes any clear assessment of it simply disappear in the force of its corrosive gravity, the authors explore various – textual and visual, or horizontal and vertical – ways to investigate the hole and illuminate its blackness.

Filip De Boeck has conducted extensive field research in both rural and urban communities in D.R. Congo (ex-Zaire) since 1987. He is a professor of anthropology at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA), a research unit of the University of Leuven, Belgium. De Boeck is the author of ‘Kinshasa. Tales of the Invisible City’ (2004), a book he co-authored with photographer Marie-Françoise Plissart. With Alcinda Honwana he edited ‘Makers and Breakers. Children and Youth in Postcolonial Africa’ (Oxford: James Currey, 2005). De Boeck has also curated several exhibitions and won in 2004 a Golden Lion at the Architecture Biennale in Venice for ‘Kinshasa: Imaginary City’, an exhibition co-curated with architect and critic Koen Van Synghel. Together with Congolese photographer Sammy Baloji, De Boeck recently published ‘Suturing the City. Living Together in Congo’s Urban Worlds’ (London: Autograph ABP,2016).

The lecture will be in English and takes place in the context of the exhibition Sarat Maharaj: AAH Room, which runs until 04.06.2017.


Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, 148 - 3º C
1050-021 Lisboa, Portugal
Monday to Friday, 10h00 to 13h00,
14h30 to 19h00

Tel: + 351 21 352 11 55


Independent Study Programme
Call 2023
Until 04.09.2022


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Registration is free but limited to the number of seats available. Please send an email with a short CV to admin@maumaus.org by 24.03.2022. Confirmation of registration will be sent by email. The seminar will be in English.

Lumiar Cité

Rua Tomás del Negro, 8A
1750-105 Lisboa, Portugal
Wednesday to Sunday, 15h00 to 19h00
or by appointment.
Tel: + 351 21 755 15 70

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Maumaus/Lumiar Cité is funded by República Portuguesa – Cultura/Direção-Geral das Artes. With the support of Câmara Municipal de Lisboa and Junta de Freguesia do Lumiar

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