How Belgium Colonized the Mind of the Congo

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This book explores the memory, transformations and manifestations of power which have made the Democratic Republic of the Congo such a fascinating and emblematic entity for the contemporary moment. Based on extensive research and journeys across the Congo, the book forms an important contribution to the knowledge of a country that often resists being understood, and intimates itself through images that retain profound mystery. This book contains 28 black and white photographs and 12 color photographs.


“Lieve Spaas has mapped a complex and fundamentally uneven field, drawing on Belgian and Congolese recollections and narratives of the shared historical experience of colonialism.” – Professor Charles Forsdick, James Barrow Chair of French, Liverpool University

“This book forms a seminal contribution both to the ways in which the Congo is envisaged, and also to the ways in which memory and history – and their traces – can be analyzed, conjured, and conveyed.” – Professor Stephen Barber, California Insitute of the Arts, Kingston Univesity

“This book is written in an elegant and fine-tuned manner and engages the reader in terms of its dramatic unfolding of people’s recollections of the colonial period set against the broader backdrop of African colonial history.” – Dr. Beatrice Fink, Professor Emerita, University of Maryland

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by Charles Forsdick
1 Congolese Voices
2 Creating the Congo
3 The Colonizers Remember
4 Europeans in the Congo
5 Creating New Identities
Conclusion: The Metaphor of Darkness and Postcolonial Identities
Appendix: List of Interviewees Index

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