Residual Repertoire: Black Geo-Aesthetics after the Mine

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This article attends to how contemporary artists Otobong Nkanga and Libita Sibungu work with mineral residues to locate and reimagine Namibian mining geographies among the material durations of colonialism and racial capitalism. Drawing on Black geographies, postcolonial and performance studies, I suggest that Nkanga’s and Sibungu’s respective methods of presencing uneven accumulations and embodied and geological temporalities constitute residual repertoires. From Nkanga’s work at the Green Hill in Tsumeb, to Sibungu’s traversal of diasporic mining geographies between Namibia and the UK, both artists trace mineral circulations through visual, sonic, and performance elements, finding ways to render forces of dispossession, genocide, struggle, and their afterlives (partially) perceptible. This work questions and repurposes institutionalized forms of representation whose visual and archival modes contribute to ongoing corporeal and material extraction. Critically intervening in and seeking to transform extractive geo-aesthetics, Nkanga and Sibungu generate speculative repertoires for other possible futures of mineral proximity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-63
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2023


  • Black geographies
  • geo-aesthetics
  • mining
  • Namibia
  • residue

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