Conversations around the Kung Fu Uprisings in Antananarivo

This research is ongoing. It takes the pace and shape of a continuous returning and a slow mounding. The returning is to the material sites of importance in relation to the history of gong fu in Madagascar (Analakely market in Antananarivo, the Indian Ocean), as well as varying newspaper clippings, comic book strips, found objects, online documents, and printed booklets. The slow mounding are the discursive builds of the social narratives that form through people that carry this history, that conversations with whom sound out this history that has been silenced by power but still tones out an ambiguous tune. 

This body of work contains ongoing research that spans several years into the mysteries surrounding the narrative about the gong fu uprisings in the 1980s in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The research includes attempts to trace paths through the multiple conflicting stories relating to this narrative found in the Analakely Market in Antananarivo. It includes: surprise conversations that occured through researching 'on-the-ground; designed projects with a woman who trained when gong fu was made illegal and forced underground; concerns and reflections on following leads in places where I am an outsider; clippings, booklets, graphic novels and other research fragments found along the way; found objects in Antananarivo; further research into the role of connectivity, networking and organisingthat martial arts plays within uprisings and movements against hegemonic power in the so-called subaltern world.

The work on this page demonstrates an array of visual, sonic and other experimental manifestations of the research so far. Many of these pieces explore how to bring across an ambiguity that exists due to the multiplicity of small and large overlapping, conflicting and strengthening narratives. The visual component explores sound and animation within documentary making when anonymity is required. It centres women's narratives on the topic and questions where the repositories of this history lie. The creative approach favours and works with fragmented pieces found along the way by being present and engaging in conversation. 

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