Antigone Film Series: The Phantoms of Lovanium

Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm


Event Contact

Rogers, Sarah

Livestream link:

In collaboration with Screen/Society, the Franklin Humanities Institute is happy to announce an international film series on Antigone as part of its World Arts series. Curated by Andrés Fabián Henao Castro, the four films are not strictly adaptations of Antigone (only one explicitly refers to Sophocles’ play), but each takes up the themes of political violence and contested burials in ways that resonate with the ancient tragedy. From Germany to the México-US border, and from Peru to the Congo, the political contestation over who can or cannot be buried invites us to reflect, yet again, on the historical violence that lies at the foundation of the state.

The Phantoms of Lovanium (Les Fantômes des Lovanium)
Ccil Michel, 2014

By the trees in the campus of the University of Kinshasa, this documentary focuses on the efforts of a popular Congolese painter to remember a student revolt that was violently repressed by the authoritarian regime of Mobotu in the 60s. As happens in Sophocles’ ancient tragedy, which makes more than one appearance in the film, grief has been interrupted by the state. The public act of collective remembrance, into which the current students at the University of Kinshasa are invited, exposes the ways in which the ancient Lovanium continues to haunt the Democratic Republic of Congo with its colonial afterlives.

Introduced by Astrid L.B. van Weyenberg
Assistant Professor in Cultural Analysis
Leiden University
Followed by Zoom discussion

Relevant publications:
The Politics of Adaptation: Contemporary African Drama and Greek Tragedy. Amsterdam: Rodopi Publishers. 2013
“Revolutionary Muse: Fémi Òsófisan's Tègònni: An African Antigone.” In: Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. 366-378.
“Antigone on the African stage: 'Wherever the call for freedom is heard!'” In: Migrant settings Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex and Race. Amsterdam: Rodopi Publishers. 2008. 119-137.


More Information
Art depicting conflict in Congo and casket being bourne
Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI)
Event Co-Sponsors
Africa Initiative, African and African American Studies (AAAS), Center for Documentary Studies (CDS), Cinematic Arts, Classical Studies, Duke Arts, English, Literature, Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts (MFAEDA), Romance Studies