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Romuald Hazoumé och La Bouche du Roi: En afrikansk samtidskonstnär och hans betraktelse över dagens slaveri
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Art History.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Romuald Hazoumé and La Bouche du Roi : a contemporary African artist´s contemplation about current slavery and exploatation (English)
Abstract [en]

The thesis is about the Benin artist Romuald Hazoumé and his installation La Bouche du Roi. In his artworks, he tells about the contemporary African situation and what it is like to be an African today. He assumes that slavery has not disappeared, it has just changed. The underlying context for African contemporary art is investigated in order to analyze La Bouche du Roi and Hazoumé's perspective. The contextual approach examine areas such as the contemporary African art scene, a traditional perspective, masks, slavery, colonization, globalization, postmodernism and post colonialism. The author places the Hazoumé in a post colonial context because there are parallels to the movement within his art. The central part of La Bouche du Roi consists of a slave ship which is constructed of 304 masks. A key source of inspiration is Brookes, a 1700th century print. The image shows the horrors that were connected with the transatlantic slave trade. It was used by the abolition movement to arouse public opinion against slavery. La Bouche du Roi stands in opposition to Brookes due to how the slaves are portrayed. In the latter they are shown as passive victims that have been stripped of their identity and culture. He uses the mask to tell that Africa has changed and to correct stereotypical misconceptions about the continent and its inhabitants. Due to their shape, they give associations to the traditional Africa, but they are made of plastic cans that have been used by Benin petrol smugglers. These people are poor and their work is very dangerous, but they don't have any other options. Hazoumé equate their harsh conditions with slavery. His masks can therefore be interpreted as a metaphor for slavery. According to Hazoumé greedy Africans and Westerners have a shared responsibility for the historic slave trade and its ongoing legacy. He has a vision of liberating his people. The basis for this is that his people, he is of Yoruba-origin, shall reestablish their identity and their culture. Due to this they will cease to be slaves and justice will be restored. The author finds some problematic aspects for the realization of his vision.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 72 p.
Keyword [en]
Romuald Hazoumé, La Bouche du Roi, Brookes, slavery, slave ship, african masks, contemporary, African art, globalisation, colonialism, post colonialism, postmodernism, Lyotard.
National Category
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-242162OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-242162DiVA: diva2:782613
2015-01-15, 15:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-02-05 Created: 2015-01-21 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved

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