Colonial Wounds/Postcolonial Repair exhibition opens at Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art

james madison university jmuThe 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.

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 Arts scheduled 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.


Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art’s mission is to present the highest level of fine art experiences and to create an active space for robust discourse of vital issues facing our society. It is a space where the local and academic community share ideas about contemporary art and our wider cultural experiences. Art breaks barriers between languages and brings us together to be inspired and knowledgeable citizens, no matter where we come from.
Visit for further information.


Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art, Duke Hall – Room 1022, 820 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA

Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am-5 pm; First Fridays until 8 pm


Parking is available at Mason Street Deck on JMU’s campus during gallery events.


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