The Memory of Congo: The Colonial Era

Drawing on the Royal Museum for Central Africa’s extensive collections, this exhibition presented a broad survey of Congo during colonial times and, as such, shed light on an ignored historical past.

Beginning with an evocation of Congo’s distant past, which preceded a colonial era that would bring changes to the territory, the history of Congo’s colonization was narrated around a series of major themes: social hierarchies, economic transactions, encounters between individuals and cultures and the construction of a colonial imagery.

The exhibition ended with a section devoted to the independence and the post-colonial era. Oral accounts from Belgians and Congolese enlivened the presentation of this emotionally loaded past. Johan Lagae contributed a section on colonial urbanity and sciences, among others.

The exhibition proved an immense success, attracting over 140,000 visitors. It was widely discussed in national and international media.


Research group: Theory and History of Architecture
Duration: from 04-02-2005 until 09-10-2005
Staff: Johan Lagae

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