Saturday, December 18, 2010

Royal Museum for Central Africa

My friend Joshua Galjour recently visited the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium. Here are some of his fascinating pictures and commentary.

"The Unavoidable Inter-Congolese Dialogue."

A view of commercial centre of Leopoldville in the 1950's. Startling image, compared to what this looks like today. Leopoldville, 1950's. In 1940, there were 40,000 inhabitants in Leo, in 1954, there were 300,000. Today, Kinshasa (aka Leopolodville) has a population of over 10 million and is the largest city in the Francophone world.

Stanleyville (modern day Kisangani) in the 1950's. The top is the neighborhood for Europeans and the bottom the neighborhood for natives.

An"Évolué"* family in Kinshasa, circa 1950's.

Évolué is a term similar to Assimulado in Portuguese. In the colonial era, Africans who adapted or "evolved" or "assimilated" to European culture were sometimes able to obtain higher social status, better education for their children and more opportunities. Usually it did not bring about true equality.

A satire of "TinTin au Congo."

Have you read King Leopold's Ghost? Adam Hotchkiss describes the life and times of E.D. Morel, a customs clerk who first discovered the atrocities in Leopold's Congo. Morel became an unrelenting crusader against the slave trade in the Congo Free State.

Pere Kabila, before his assassination.

Patrice Lumumba, one of the architects of modern Democratic Republic of Congo.

This painting depicts Congolese soldiers hauling away Patrice Lumumba to his execution, which took place in Lumbubashi 1961 with the complicity of Belgium and the U.S.

Art displayed in the exhibition "50 years of Congolese independence."

Related Post:

TinTin au Congo

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