Muzungu Tribes
Photographic Exhibition

THE MUZUNGU TRIBES CASE by Teddy Mazina

From November 9, 2021 to March 6, 2022

Africa Museum – Tervuren, Belgium

 

Brussels 1972, discovery of a Clandestine anthropometric measurement laboratory. A news item erased from official history.

On 02/04/1972, Brussels customs seized several boxes at Zaventem airport on their way to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The police are called. The boxes are filled with  several hundred documents, photographs of European human bodies, morpho-anthropometric files and measurement data, laboratory flasks, x-rays… An investigation is opened and the police discover a clandestine laboratory at 22 Goujons Street in Anderlecht, in the south of Brussels.

Residents reported back and forth of many young people of African origin and their Belgian friends. Also according to the neighborhood, “suspicious rites” were being performed in what appeared to be an old derelict warehouse. Residents often complained of disturbances caused by “black music” and suspicious night movements.

On February 20 night, a police intervention in the warehouse led to the arrest of four people. A small group of African scholarship students had set up what appeared to be an undeclared “science lab”. According  to them, they measured and photographed the “White Bodies” of their friends. Several hundred pictures were seized.

 

Police Report:

The defendants say they are conducting “a critical morpho-anthropometric investigation into the scientific foundations of the discourse on Africa and the invention of a primitive Africa, the place par excellence of difference and radical otherness”…..

The file was then classified CONFIDENTIAL and hidden from the press. The anthropometry laboratory on rue des Goujons was called MUZUNGU TRIBES.
 

PROGRAMMING

2021

  • Exhibition – November 2021 – Africa Museum
  • Live talk (artists and curators) – November 2021
  • Special talk Muzungu Tribes – November 2021 – Africa Museum 

 

2022

  • Talk Muzungu Tribes – Bozar (Bruxelles)
  • Exhibition & Talk – Dakar
  • Exhibition & Talk – Accra
  • Exhibition & Masterclass – Kigali

MAKING OF Muzungu Tribes Shooting

Muzungu Tribes is born in a picture laboratory, where the artist seeks to reverse looks, to denounce and discredit humoristically, a racist thought, sometimes unconscious but deeply rooted. In this laboratory, a black man analyzes, observes and measures whites people to identify communities, new tribes contemporary: Muzungu tribes.

Muzungu Tribes oscillates between fiction and historic facts.

The artist Teddy Mazina collaborated with Hang’Art in developing the full concept of Photographs and Talks. It was important not to repeat everything that had already been discussed too much about colonization and to create a contemporary discussion, addressing both Europe and Africa. The talks make it possible to include Muzungu Tribes in the future by raising awareness among players in the image industry (journalists, artists, students, cultural players, etc.) in full responsibility for the visual tools they create, use, exhibit or disseminate.

Muzungu Tribes: photographs and talks is an nomadic artistic project, dedicated to evolving and enriching itself from season to season, as it and the artist’s career progresses.

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

Teddy Mazina

Born in 1972 in Burundi, Teddy Mazina, Burundian photo-journalist, is a political exile living between Belgium and Rwanda and a self-described “Photographer activist”.

He advocates non-violence and in 1993, he co-founded the Organisation Jeunesse association, as a way to fight extremism and political manipulation. In 2007, he returned to Burundi. “Unfortunately, I realized that we were facing the same problems as in the past”. He started doing photography and created MD communication which produced reports and documentaries on Burundian society. During the 2010 elections, he documented the event with an image bank as an attempt to create a fairer society. He has continued his activities with Studio Clan-Destin.

For memory’s sake. Photographing the Burundian social and political current climate is an almost vital choice for me and for the history of Burundi.

Teddy Mazina

In February 2012, he exhibited his photographs for the first time at the French Institute in Bujumbura with Objectives Amnesia / Devoir de Mémoire 2007-2011. With his photographs, he fights against oblivion and the violence suffered by men on a daily basis.
His book “Drums on the Ear of a Deaf” was published in 2015. The same year, he photographed political demonstrations through the “Underground Studio” before being forced to go underground for 15 months. He is the recipient of the 2017 Martine Anstett Prize for his commitment to Human rights in Burundi. He currently works on a new series, MUZUNGU TRIBES, an artistic project based on photographic research and anthropometric measuring as a way to deconstruct and reinvent the way we look at others.