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CIH 11: Transcend Photo Exhibition

  • Maylses Documentary Center 343 Lenox Ave New York (map)
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Featured Exhibition


Photographs by Yole!Africa 

In Partnership with the University of Nottingham

During the time of King Léopold II, British missionary photographer Alice Seeley Harris (1870 – 1970) took over a thousand photographs in Congo Free State. While her photography played an important role in “liberating” Congo from Léopold II, her gaze is distinctly colonial and portrays her subjects as suffering, bewildered, and inferior.

In 2017, the Goma-based cultural center Yole!Africa grappled with the contradictions of these images, launching a series of workshops entitled “Decomposing the Colonial Gaze.” The photos in this exhibition are a result of these workshops, which encouraged participants to explore colonial legacies and develop representational styles in response to Seeley Harris’ work.

Co-presented by Yole!Africa (hotlink:


Congo in Harlem is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.