Subterranean Imprint Archive (2021)

The Subterranean Imprint Archive is a research project culminating in a VR experience (6dof). Inspired by the film Akira (1988) by Katsuhiro Otomo, the work situates the viewer in a counter-archive which traces the legacy of technopolitics in Central and Southern Africa. The starting point of the work is Shinkolobwe, a mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the uranium used in the Manhattan project was extracted. The image of Congolese ore exploding over Japan is a symbol of the earth-shattering devastation whose impact continues to be felt on the African continent. While the eyes of the world were transfixed on a city engulfed in a ball of light, a long shadow was cast. The Lo-Def Film Factory’s work involves archival research, dramaturgy, and visual strategies associated with video art, collage, sculptural installation and Virtual Reality, to explore and create space for collaborative, experimental community storytelling.

Created by Lo-Def Film Factory (Francois Knoetze and Amy Louise Wilson) Co-produced by Le Lieu Unique (France) and Electric South (South Africa) With support from Prohelvetia Johannesburg Research by Joe-Yves Salankang Sa-Ngol Lead Developer Kyle Marais Commissioned by Oulimata Gueye for Le Lieu Unique Sound by Joshua Chiundiza Additional collage art by Duduetsang Lamola (blkbanaana) Additional video art by Natalie Paneng Additional sound by Caydon van Eck Performances by Gomez Bakwene, Peacemore Patsika, Victor Jakara, Nicole Goto, Phedre N’goua, Billy Edward Langa Voice-over by Paurisia Muhigirwa, Phedre N’goua Performance workshops by Richard September, Buhle Ngaba Special thanks to Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, Congolese Civil Society of South Africa, Oulimata Gueye, Alex Sutherland, Ingrid Kopp, Steven Markovitz, Caitlin Robinson, Antoinette Engel, Kirstin Lee Grey, Taryn Joffe, Rick Treweek