College of Visual and Performing Arts

"Colonial Wounds/Postcolonial Repair" Exhibition Opens at Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art

Colonial Wounds

February 25, 2019 - The Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art at James Madison University welcomes Algerian artist Amina Menia to campus for a lecture and the reception of her exhibition titled Colonial Wounds/Postcolonial Repair, which will be on display from March 12-April 13, 2019. Co-curated by art historians and JMU faculty members Maureen G. Shanahan and Beth Hinderliter, the exhibition traces the story of French colonialism and colonial violence through the contemporary artwork of Menia (b. 1976) as contextualized by historical materials.

Featuring Menia’s photography, film and installation works, this exhibition looks at how Algerian monuments commemorating World War I and the era of French colonization (1830-1962) have been reappropriated, demolished or left to disintegrate. Menia’s artwork will be contextualized through World War I era medical illustrations, documentary photography, and film borrowed from the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, and from archives in France.

The curators, Drs. Maureen G. Shanahan and Beth Hinderliter, are interested in the nexus between visual culture and trauma. Dr. Shanahan is a modernist art historian researching a book project onthe French colonial soldier and worker during and after World War I, research that was supported by a Fulbright Award to France in 2017. A forthcoming article on France’s first (temporary) mosque will appear in a special issue of African Artsscheduled for Summer/Fall 2019. Dr. Hinderliter specializes in contemporary art history and is working on a book project entitled More than Our Pain: Affect and Emotion in the Black Lives Matter Movement. It will consider the role of emotions from rage, joy, and mourning around that movement.


March 12: Opening reception, Colonial Wounds/Postcolonial Repair, Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art, 5 pm.

March 13: Amina Menia will present a talk about her work and her installation in the gallery. Her talk is funded by the CVPA Cultural Connections grant and the Dorothy Lisker Wampler Foundation. Duke Hall – Room 2036, 5 pm.

March 18: Nefin Dinç, assistant professor, School of Media Art and Design, will discuss her film in progress about Antoine Köpe, an Ottoman soldier/officer who produced caricatures of his war experience. Harrison Hall – Room 1261, 5:30 pm.

March 20: Beth Hinderliter, visiting associate professor, Cross Disciplinary Studies (African, African American and Diaspora Studies, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies) will introduce and discuss the contemporary artwork in the exhibition. Passport Event coordinated with Health Sciences. HBS Building – Room G010, 5:30 pm.

March 26: Maureen Shanahan, professor of art history, will introduce two short World War I films of injured soldiers and processes for facial repair. She will explain the context of the films in a short lecture to follow the films. Passport Event coordinated with Health Sciences. HBS Building – Room G010, 6:30 pm.

April 2: Anne Hertzog, instructor at University of Cergy-Pontoise, France. Remembering for an Anti-Colonial Future: The Indian and Chinese Diasporas and World War I Memorials in Europe. Duke Hall – Room 1032, 5 pm.

The exhibition and all associated events are free and open to the public.Visit for further information.

Colonial Wounds/Postcolonial Repair has been funded and supported by the following departments and programs: Access and Inclusion, Biology, Cross Disciplinary Studies (including Africana Studies, Film Studies, Middle East Communities and Migrations, Women and Gender Studies), English, Health Sciences, Justice Studies, Modern Languages, the School of Art, Design and Art History, the School of Media Arts and Design, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Artwork by John Ros.



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Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Last Updated: Friday, March 1, 2019

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