The equally haunting and poetic works of Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, winner of the Camera Austria Prize for Contemporary Photography of the City of Graz 2021, are closely linked to the exploration and questioning of colonial history and its legacy and make it possible to share history(s) from the perspective of those who have so far been silenced in these history(s).
This is not just about making visible what has been oppressed, but about reconstructing subjects and their agency that has been stripped from them by modernity/coloniality (Walter D. Mignolo). These are works that provide critical insights into the persistence of colonial perspectives and power structures, while at the same time opening up new imaginaries grounded in the Black Radical tradition. Not least, Kazeem-Kamiński thereby creates possibilities for dreaming of a different present from a differently conceived future that is no longer incessantly haunted by the ghosts of the colonial past.
For her exhibition at Camera Austria, titled Seven Scenes, the artist has developed new works that together design a rehearsal space of shared imagining, thinking, speculating, dreaming, and organizing. In doing so, she takes aim at personal or collective experiences of release – a detachment and expansion in the sense of taking space, a relief from forms of being made foreign. It invites us to look back and to remember what was once celebrated and gave hope: from liberation struggles or movements to pan-African solidarity.