Andrea Stultiens is a Dutch researcher, educator and artist.
Episode 95: Andrea Stultiens is a fascinating researcher, educator and artist whose practice is quite complex. Her work on the Paul Julien archive is exceptionally interesting as are the questions surrounding how we engage with historical photographic archives from the present. She also publishes important books under her Ebifananyi series which is how we met initially. She also runs, along with Canon Griffin, HIPUganda which emphasises archival imagery of Uganda itself in acquired forms and vernacular imagery.
Andrea’s practice is divided by research, her artistic practice and her role as educator of the MA photography & Society program at KABK and she is also employed as a lecturer/researcher at Hanze University of Applied Sciences. This foreshadows a little bit about the complexities of her process, which we speak about in the episode, which is long-form and pretty fascinating.
With everything archival and particularly with most things African at the moment, I remain a total observer and student to how the movement of de-colonization and the questioning of the institution of photography is playing out. I feel that what is occurring is phenomenally important, but I personally do not feel that I have the understanding, nor the inclination due to my own background to get fully immersed or involved as to do so would perhaps perpetuate some problematic discourse. In effect, I also do not want to disrupt the incredible flow of material and re-considerations that Africa and its image are currently going through. I appreciate the efforts of Andrea, Ariella Azoulay, Mark Sealy and Sunil Shah among many others who are making these matters their primary pursuit. It would be remiss of me to wade in without the care and concern these individuals put into the work.
In our episode, we speak about Andrea’s background, her publications and her various pursuits. We speak at length about colonization and archival imagery, but the partial lens for which we speak on it comes from an archive of Paul Julien that Andrea is working through. I had noted the material when I saw the presentation of an archival image of the Borfimah object.
For anyone interested in her research, please do follow her on Facebook. She is one of the few reasons I still tune in there. The work she does and the connections she is making there while researching Julien and others is astounding. She has made the otherwise almost unbearable social media company worth signing into.
A note on this episode: I consider these episodes as an education. For me, the purpose of which is to add to the medium in my own humble way, but my sincere gratitude to Andrea goes through her no nonsense critical work.