“Decolonizing the imaginary through the tactical use of machinimas” presented by Arvers


Session Title:

  • Algorithms, Machine Learning and Audiovisual Heritage

Presentation Title:

  • Decolonizing the imaginary through the tactical use of machinimas




  • This essay starts from a reading of Decolonizing the virtual: Fu-ture Knowledges and the Extrahuman in Africa, a collection of essays published in the Journal of African Studies in March 2021, responses, and commentaries to the Abiola lecture delivered by Achille Mbembe in 2016 in the context of #Rhodesmustfall and the new light given by this movement to the question of decolo-nizing knowledge.[1] During this lecture, Mbembe states that Africans are better able to leap into the digital because there is a similarity between the plasticity of pre-colonial knowledge and the plasticity of digital virtuality. I therefore sought to know if this hypothesis could be verified: is the digital, through immer-sive works, video games and machinimas, a good way to docu1-ment, archive, represent and promote oral tradition and ancestral knowledge? And it is then that I discovered the text of Lia Beatriz Teixeira Torraca published in April 2021 on the Aesthetic look of affect which analyses the machinima as being a medium allowing to change the point of view, to proceed to a displacement, to a reterritorialization while simultaneously presenting multiple worlds and spaces, often invisibilized.[2]