On the way into two days of meetings with Mazi partners in Brussels, we made a visit to the print department of La Cambre to meet with professor of lettering, Pierre Huyghebaert and colleagues. Their recent investigations into legacy state printing machinery uncovered some of the 1000’s of stone lithographic plates stored on site in Abbaye de la Cambre grounds.

The one pictured here has sparked a chain of interest and excitement as it shows a fractured map of late 19th century Congo territories. Students at the Print school based in the l’Institut Géographique National de la Défense compound discovered broken pavement sized ‘plates’ built into an earth retaining wall during post war period. Thought to present a risk to national security as late as 1950’s, they were broken up and stored in huge underground bunkers.

Belgian colonial history of this period is most widely known as The Heart of Darkness ruled by savagery that resulted in genocide and dismemberment of the enslaved millions in Congo by Leopold II during his quest for international status, power and profit. The fractured plate maps a rip in time and conscience at a moment Belgians seek a better understanding of their history and relationship with Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo. A student group are planning a trip there to follow the trail along the fault line and report experiences and findings onto a their portable MaziZone.

YT has been meeting with Jean Pierre Muller of La Cambre and Mick Finch, Anthony Davies and Elizabeth Wright of Central St Martins to map out some plans for a collaboration between us all and the Architecture School in Kinshasa to further explore the history with Belgium and collect stories from those in both places.

CSM return to Sao Paolo later in March, to pick up on the Reverso initiative and reassemble all 10 of the project partners for an update, to set out plans for further collaborations and training through the year.

The Mazi toolkit continues to evolve with V2.3.1 now available for download and flashing to micro SD for use with your Raspberry Pi 3. Our SPC toolkit now includes several peripheral add-ons, a Pi Camera, hi power USB battery, 12w solar panel and SenseHAT which can be put to use in response to the needs expressed for add-hock customisation and install.

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