The KAM project

A Counter-Mapping of Resistence

The Kam project is a body of photographic work about the memories of resistance in post-colonial time as defined by Achille Mbembe: in other words, the period after the end of colonization that nevertheless, reveals the persistence of a colonial imaginary.

Started in 2010, Kam is developed in a “rhizomic” fashion and covers different territories of West Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas, taking the form of an evolving and organic project. The memory of resistance to slavery and colonialism is thought here not as a subject but as a reading grid to question living performative practices that exist on both sides of the Atlantic within marginalized historical communities.

Although these practices are not reduced to a simple reaction to the system , most of them were developed during the colonial period. They are indeed free creations that go beyond the notion of resistance and memory. Lo Calzo questions how they have made it possible to (re)compose interrupted genealogies, to unite diasporic communities that have produced their own forms and knowledge - complex cultural practices that address memory but also gender, class and race.

It is from this precise angle that Lo Calzo has built, over the years, a counter-mapping of memory, showing the way in which these practices have participated and still participate, both in the construction of a memorial identity, and a collective or family memory, as well as the (de)construction of gender, racial and class categories. Lo Calzo proposes to apprehend these practices of resistance through this intersectional prism, the only one, according to him, able to restore the multiple forces that inhabit them.

Lo Calzo’s research is part of a personal questioning around identity and body politics. His artistic approach stems from his experience as a queer person, having grown up as part of a minority. It is precisely this experience of self and of the injunctions made to “non-standard” bodies that feeds his photographic practice and questions him about community practices which, historically, have been undervalued.

In this regard, the idea of the subaltern body and its performativity as a producer of denormative narratives is central. The body here is both a place of assignments and a “utopian” body – or, a possibility of resistance, action and subversion of social rules and exclusions. The memory and resistance photographed by Lo Calzo are also the subaltern communities’ creative response to the commodification of bodies, operated, in the past, by colonialism and, today, by its contemporary avatar, capitalist extractivism.

By producing a counter-mapping of memories and practices of resistance to slavery, the KAM project wishes to reveal an existing network of linked and interconnected “dissident” narratives, which today, more than ever, question us about our relationship to the world and to our own history.

Through artist residencies and in close collaboration with local associations and communities, the Kam project has been pursued in Benin, Togo, Ghana, Senegal, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Louisiana and Mississippi, (USA), French Guyana, Suriname, Cuba, Italy, Sao Tome and Brazil. The different bodies of work focus on practices inscribed in specific political, historical and societal contexts and are connected to each other, in an approach that is both subjective and contextual, multi-sited and micro-historical.

Lo Calzo builds his exhibitions from the visual archive, developing the archive on several levels: the body of photographic work, the sound and video capsules, historical representations such as maps, engravings, objects - all are part of a circular, “archipelago” narration, in reference to the work of Edoaurd Glissant. The aim is to restore the complexity of photographed subjects, their relationship to the present and historical time, and their relationship to physical, political and social space.

Since 2020, Lo Calzo has included the Kam project as part of his doctoral research at the Graduate School of Humanities (Uni Paris-Cergy – Ensapc), where he examines the possible uses of contemporary photography to address the memories of subaltern bodies.

Press Review


To date, the work in progress KAM has been founded with artist residencies, talks, exhibitions and donations. Any form of collective or individual support for the production or the diffusion of the project is truly important for the advancement of research. You can become a partner and support the KAM project in different ways. For further information, write to:

Unesco, Fondation Fokal, Fondation zinsou, Fondation Joan Mitchell, Fonds de dotation Buchet-Ponsoye, Dominique Fiat, La Balsa Arte, Luz, Afrique in Visu, La Tête dans les Images, CPMHE, Ministère des Outre-Mer, Tropenmuseum, LightWork, Lagosphoto, Portrait(s), Region Guadeloupe, Bnf, Archivi Alinari, Vogue Italia, Internazionale, Le Monde, Lille3000, Macaal, Château des Ducs de Brétagne, Aides.


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