Women, Memory & Transmission. Postcolonial Perspectives from the Arts and Literature

Blurred image of woman standing over camera with backdrop of forest and mountains

Project Lead:

Dr Justine Feyereisen

FWO Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Wolfson College




Elisa Moris Vai





Partner Organisations:

Photo Oxford

Maison Française d’Oxford

Association des lecteurs de J.M.G. Le Clézio



About the project:

In collaboration with Photo Oxford Festival 2021, hosted by the Maison Française d’Oxford, and supported by the Humanities Cultural Programme, the international and interdisciplinary Conference “Women, Memory & Transmission: Postcolonial Perspectives from the Arts and Literature” will explore what it means for women to transmit memories in postcolonial contexts. What strategies do women develop to tackle postcolonial issues? What are the issues to address and the struggles to lead to be heard and valued as tellers of History? What ethical and political issues does the reception of their works raise? The conference will bring together art-world figures and scholars in the fields of gender studies, memory studies, postcolonial studies, and Global South studies to adequately contribute to show how the Humanities can lead to a better awareness of the key social and political role of women in reinterpretation of colonial History as acts of resistance and empowerment.

The conference will coincide with a photographic exhibition by Elisa Moris Vai, showcased during the 2021 Festival at the Maison Française d’Oxford (15 Oct. – 15 Nov.). The French photographic artist Elisa Moris Vai will present her series Catherine, Kiambé, Surya. The exhibition shows her photographic response to three female characters in La Quarantaine (1995) and Révolutions (2003), set in Mauritius, by Nobel Prize J.M.G. Le Clézio. The images closely intertwine fiction and reality, literature and photography, to better understand how the transmission of memory can be a tool of resistance and empowerment by women in postcolonial contexts.


Photograph from the series 'Catherine, Kiambé, Surya’  ©Elisa Moris Vai



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Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the

future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.