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Congo belge (en images)

Research Unit: Theory and History
Academic year: 2009/2010
Staff: Carl De Keyzer Johan Lagae

For this exhibition, Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer and Johan Lagae selected nearly 100 images from the immense visual archive at the Royal Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren, the largest part of which dates from 1885 to 1908.

The exhibition did not present a historical survey of photography in Central Africa, nor did it aim to inform audiences of the official use of photography in colonial propaganda or its visual codes. By opting for an atypical selection of often-unexpected images, the curators rather sought to underline the autonomy of the colonial photographer while simultaneously bringing to the fore often ignored, complex realities that invite a re-assessment of our understanding of the early decades of Belgian colonization in Central Africa.
The exhibition accompanied the presentation of Carl De Keyzer’s project Congo (belge) and received national and international acclaim.

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