For decades, Swiss traveller René Gardi (1909-2000) explained the African continent and its inhabitants to us. In books, television programs and films, he waxed poetic about the beautiful naked “savages” and the pre-modern era in which they apparently lived. This supposedly idyllic world became Gardi’s paradise, as Africa was transformed into a projection screen for the desires of the audience back home.
The film AFRICAN MIRROR tells the story of our problematic image of Africa using materials from Gardi’s archive, whose ambivalent pictures mirror our European self-conception in myriad ways. The film reveals image production as a form of colonialism and shows how we have refused to truly look into this mirror to this very day.
数十年间，瑞士探险家荷内·杰哈迪 René Gardi (1909-2000)向我们展示了非洲大陆和土著居民。他声情并茂、滔滔不绝地在书籍、电视栏目和电影中描述着美丽并赤裸着的“蛮族”和他们生活的未开化的文明。这传说中的美好世界成为杰哈迪德天堂，而非洲则化身为观众们渴望的投影屏幕。《非洲镜子》使用杰哈迪的影片档案，讲述了漏洞百出的非洲影像的诞生过程，这些影像在各个角度都成为欧洲人自我意识的矛盾投射。影片也重新发掘了图像制造作为殖民主义的形式，以及我们如何至今仍拒绝真正审视镜中的自己。