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THE ENCLAVE

The Enclave
Tafadzwa Ryan Nemarundwe
Portland State University

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Space
Entering the section, one is greeted with pitch black darkness that could leave them
feeling slightly disorientated. The only light youll find in the room is from the projectors onto
the screens. Once inside, this darkness forces the viewer to leave their comfortable world behind,
and gives them a feeling of uncertainty from the very beginning. The room is slightly small and
only has two benches to sit on. Even if the room is pitch black, one can sense the presence of
every other viewer in the room, and with the multiple screens in the room, it makes one wonder
if everyone else sees the same images as them, and leaves them curious as to whether looking at
different screens could give the viewer a different perspective of the piece. The enclave is made
up of six screens, each with its own clip that may or may not pertain to the other screens. The
viewer is unable see all screens at once; the most one can view is four of the six screens if
watching from the correct angle. To truly experience the whole piece, one must view it multiple
times from different angles and spots. With only two benches in the room, it is clear that the
artist intends for the audience to move around. The sounds and music that accompany the clips
are very loud and intense, and can be overwhelming for someone experiencing the exhibit/piece
for the first time. Having multiple screens to look at grabbed at my attention and gave me an
incentive to visit the Enclave multiple times and truly appreciate the piece from multiple angles.
The loud music makes the videos all the more captivating, as well as gives life to the scenes
seen.
While the struggles the people faced were well presented on screen, the feelings and
emotions of the people cannot be expressed through a screen. This means that viewer makes
assumptions about the peoples emotions. Their assumptions are likely to be heavily affected by

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the different perspectives. While one viewer may feel deeply connected to the people shown in
the piece, another may feel completely disconnected from them.

Visual Event
The most remarkable scene was that of the crowd moving the home. What makes this
scene so remarkable is the scenes that play along with it on the other screens. On one there is the
funeral, where members of the community are moving the coffins of the recently deceased. On
another we have a woman giving birth, and we see her in a terrible condition. On the fourth
screen there are people sharing a meal. These scenes showcase the community and its driving
forces. Even if there is death, birth will replace the members of the community that have been
lost. Times of turmoil are when the community will work its best together. Be it sharing a meal,
or even moving a home, members of the community are more inclined to make sacrifices and
work with others to make life as smooth as possible. Although the people do not have the
influence in their own nation to end this conflict swiftly, they can still show the rest of the world
their will through massive communal gatherings.
Although we live in the age of globalization, we can still see that all the benefits it brings
have not yet reached some countries. For example, one can clearly see the inadequate health care
facilities in the clip of the woman giving birth. Another would be the poor infrastructure shown
through the substandard housing. The only avenue showing globalization benefitting this nation
is with the weaponry and mobility shown; but this does not improve the lives of the poor
citizens. The only advantage that globalization has given these people is the media, as it has
allowed more people to learn about the the conflict within the DRC (Democratic Republic of
Congo) around the world. This means that international assistance is more likely to be given, in

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this case, the massive amount of funding provided. Some key figures recorded in 2012 are that
the total assistance given globally was over 2.3 billion dollars, and over 1.5 billion dollars was
spent in peacekeeping operations. This means that through globalization, this nation was able to
speed up it progress significantly due to the outside assistance provided.
With international assistance, the nation is pressured into making the most of this
funding, meaning it is more likely to stay on track and not put it to waste. While there might be
more international pressure, this does not mean that the country is now immune to corruption.
The nation largely relies on its oil exports, and it has been revealed multiple times how the
politicians in the country take advantage of it. From taking bribes from major oil companies, to
the presidents son using revenue from oil exports for luxury shopping; this is money, that should
go straight to the government and be used for non-personal reasons, is clearly being misused.
Just providing monetary aid to the nation is not enough to set its government straight and fix all
its problems. Due to international pressure, the government enacted anti-corruption laws in 2005
which brought in provisions of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating
Corruption, and the UNCAC(United Nations Convention Against Corruption). These two
provided a sufficient legal framework to combat corruption, but even this was not enough to rid
the country of its corruption.While the top leaders and large oil companies profit from the
countrys resources, the people continue to suffer in poverty. In 2006, eighty-eight percent of the
nation lived in extreme poverty; that is over forty-nine million people. Unless serious changes
occur within the government, the corruption will continue to be a major issue holding back the
DRC from making progress and improving as a nation.

Overall Reaction

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Richard Mosses objective with the Enclave was to make the forgot and overlooked
conflict in the DRC(Democratic Republic of Congo) once again visible, by showing it through a
new light. The Enclave was produced using a discontinued military film technology that was
originally designed in World War II to reveal camouflaged units and soldiers hidden in the
landscape. This film registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, rendering the green
landscape in vivid colors of lavender, crimson, and hot pink. The purpose for this was to engage
the audience unlike ever before. The vibrant colors make the piece surreal through the beautiful
landscapes, but also makes the people in the images more conspicuous. With the people standing
out, the viewers are immersed into these peoples world, and it allows them to have a clearer and
more concise perspective. Mosse was able to achieve his objectives due to how captivating the
Enclave is, and how well it portrays the struggle the people in the DRC experience.
While the Enclave was an eye opening and engaging piece, it did not make me feel
remorse nor sympathy for the people in this country. While its vibrant colors made the people
stand out, they also brought an unrealistic feeling with them. As a consequence of this, along
with some people posing for the camera, I felt disconnected from the piece and the people within
it. While it would have been ideal for the Enclave to make me feel as though I had been
temporarily placed into these peoples world, and truly understand their ordeal, it did the
opposite. The vibrant hues made their world all the more foreign to me, and made me feel as
though I would never be capable of understanding what they have gone through. Even if I was
not engaged, the piece still achieved Mosses objective, and made me think and become more
knowledgeable about the issues occurring in the DRC.

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References:
Democratic Republic of Congo - Global Humanitarian Assistance. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30,
2015, from http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/countryprofile/democratic-republic-ofcongo

Republic of Congo. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from


http://www.globalwitness.org/campaigns/corruption/oil-gas-and-mining/republic-of-congo

Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in the DRC. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from
http://www.u4.no/publications/overview-of-corruption-and-anti-corruption-in-the-drc/

The Enclave - Portland Art Museum. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2015, from
http://portlandartmuseum.org/exhibitions/enclave/