Over the past year as a result of the ´Black Lives Matter´ movement the debate on colonial monuments has heated up once again. Activists poured buckets of red paint over statues or sprayed graffiti on them. Their actions reopen colonial history and question the idea of an immutable past. Impressive monuments and buildings glorify an illustrious history, as a result of which it sometimes appears to be literally carved in stone. In this way they tell unilateral, problematic versions of our national history.
For Beaufort, the Ostend nomadic film and art collective Monokino is seeking a different perspective. Where the statues in the city look down on us from above, Monokino turns the gaze around. In collaboration with a number of artists, we put the grand narratives of history into question by creating a personal, intimate microperspective. Film, as an everyday medium, offers greater recognisability than statues, which appear more alienating (or even alien). How does this film and visual culture then and today define our (colonial) imaging? In what alternative way can these media transmit knowledge today?
At various locations in the city, the invited video artists display a different vision of our shared past. Monokino is deconstructing the concrete foundations of the static monuments and buildings via a fluid, multi-voiced approach in moving images. Just as in the practice of the Monokino collective, in each case here dialogue wins out over monologue: in the film programme, conversations are held with filmmakers, writers and opinion makers from different strata of society in order to stimulate contemporary reflection on this history. Via the light of the film projector, Monokino puts into question the shadows cast by the monuments.