Matthias De Groof (°1981) is fascinated by the tension between alterity and identity in the (self-) representation of Africa. He researched this topic on various levels. He wrote his Master thesis in Philosophy on the epistemological fundaments of western representational systems, more specifically of the European conception of Black Africa.
He then studied International Relations (UCL) and African Studies (UMU-Kampala) to gain a deeper insight into the historical and geopolitical complexities of Central Africa. Afterwards he studied the self-representation of Africa in its cinemas, during a Master in Cinema Studies and took a master class Sound Image Culture in Anthropology and Filmmaking. Within the context of these academic and artistic inquiries, Matthias undertook various travels to Central Africa.
Currently, Matthias De Groof is a PhD-candidate at the University of Antwerp and is continuing his research on African Cinema as a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Cinema Studies department of the Tisch School of the Arts at the New York University with Manthia Diawara as his sponsor.
His scholarly work has been published in Third Text, Columbia University Press and Image [&] Narrative amongst others. He has been invited to give presentations at conferences organised by ECREA, UC Berkeley, University of Westminster and the School of Visual Arts in New York amongst others. His artistic work has been presented at the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Académie des beaux Arts in Kinshasa, Media City, San Francisco Art Institute and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren.