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Colonial Tales, Trails and Traces

A Critical Guide to Understanding Belgium's Colonisation of Congo and How It Continues to Reinforce Racist Stereotypes

Paperback EN 2022 9789460583186
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Colonial Tales, Trails and Traces takes Brussels' colonial imprints — found in many of its statues, squares, street names, monuments, buildings and institutions — as a starting point to dive into Belgium's colonisation of Congo. Through a critical analysis of the very meaning behind the enduring presence of these colonial markers, Nicholas Lewis demonstrates how Belgium remains a fundamentally racist country, due in no small part to its decades of colonial deceit and denial. Focusing specifically on the communes of Etterbeek, Ixelles and Schaerbeek as well as the areas surrounding the Place Royale and Cinquantenaire, the author challenges the place afforded to colonial-era thieves, torturers, kidnappers, mutilators and murderers in the Brussels public domain, and the manipulated narratives their glorification rests upon. With an entire chapter devoted to Tervuren's controversial AfricaMuseum, as well as perfunctory essays and artistic interventions by seasoned decolonial and anti-racist experts Laura Nsengiyumva, Veronique Clette-Gakuba, Georgine Dibua Mbombo, Frangois Makanga and Anne Wetsi Mpoma, Colonial Tales, Trails and Traces highlights the corrosive impact colonisation continues to have at every layer of contemporary Belgian society.




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