Heart of Darkness
“Nature has presented itself as the idea in the form of otherness.”
“Since in nature the idea is as the negative of itself or is external to itself nature is not merely external in relation to this idea, but the externality constitutes the determination in which nature as nature exists.” § 192 (The Philosophy of Nature – Hegel)
São Tomé and Príncipe is an African island nation close to the equator. It is part of a volcano chain featuring striking rock and coral formations, rainforests and beaches as well as a vast variety of plantations. Popular tourist destination nowadays carries however a darker history.
Hegel in his essay “The African Character” (1830) proposes and justifies annexed by imperial powers lands of Africa require European stewardship in keeping with his philosophic opinion that cultures were stages in the course of the historical unfolding of The Absolute.
Since the arrival of Portuguese settlers in the early 16th century up until the end of the 19th this beautiful island was the centre of the transatlantic slave trade trafficking hundreds of thousands between Africa and Europe and the Americas. With the rich soil and favourable climate the island became also a key destination for a variety of plantations.
This body of work through evocative nighttime work, studies the nature of the island of the species brought over in the colonial era. Limitations pressed upon the slaves took hundreds of years to turn into freedom, but the history of slavery reflects on global socio-politics to this day. The empire fell, the nation had been formed but nature that witnessed the atrocities did not negotiate its limits.