Rui Assubuji

Current Fellows: History Department, PhD

I worked for a national television in Mozambique as cameraman from 1985 until I started free-lancing as photographer and cameraman in 1992. In connection with Mozambican Association of Photography, I’ve been involved in the organization of public events such as exhibitions (national and international), workshops, and curate an International photo festival called Photofesta, a biennale started in Maputo, 2002.

In Cape Town, after a diploma in museum and heritage studies in 2006, I have been doing research in the archives. As part of my MA project, I worked with photographic material belonging to Monica and Godfrey Wilson file, deposited at Manuscripts and Archives at UCT. Presently, registered for a PHD in visual history at University of the Western Cape I’m researching the territory of Mozambique in colonial archives.

One of the purposes of my project ‘A Visual Struggle for Mozambique. Revisiting narratives, interpreting photographs (1850 – 1930),’ is to see what impact the inclusion of visual archives has on the existing debates concerning Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique, and elsewhere. The rationale for this study, therefore, is to see what difference photographs will make to our interpretation and understanding of this past.

My interest is in audiovisual, and it is developing from the production to the uses of that kind of material, the spaces of memory and debate, the knowledge it creates, its storage, handling, management and conservation. Sensitive and interested in the public accessibility of those interactive spaces, ultimately the project might make it possible for these photographic archives to re-enter public awareness.