Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Inspiration

One of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s main sources of inspiration for the writing of We Are Proud to Present… was the art of William Kentridge. Kentridge is a South African artist who engages with many mediums including drawing, film, sculpture, and printmaking.

Drury was particularly inspired by Kentridge’s piece Black Box / Chambre Noir, a multimedia instillation that combines projected animation and mechanical puppets and is specifically about the Herero genocide.

The Deutsche Guggenheim museum in Berlin’s website describes the project: “The development of visual technologies and the history of colonialism intersect in Black Box / Chambre Noire through Kentridge’s reflection on the history of the German colonial presence in Africa, in particular the 1904 German massacre of the Hereros in Southwest Africa (now Namibia).”

Here is a video of the work, filmed at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam:

I personally feel the most resonance in the segment between roughly 1:30 – 8:00, but it’s a fascinating, unique piece and worth watching.

Special thanks to AD Daniel Jones for bringing this to my attention!