Heritage in the Lower Congo Region

Research Unit: Theory and History
Academic year: 2007/2008
Staff: Johan Lagae

As the natural gateway to the immense hinterland of Central Africa, the region of the Lower Congo was of extreme strategic importance for the Belgian colonization project and its economy of exploitation. The exhibition showcased a series of historical maps, publications and photographs from the collections of the University Library, the Royal Museum of Central Africa and private collections alongside a number of recent photographs of Matadi by Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer. The exhibition also included a slideshow on the architectural heritage of Mbanza-Ngungu, Kisantu and Mayidi and an interactive display on Boma, the first capital city of the Congo Free State.
In the context of the exhibition, a film screening and debate was organized to discuss the ongoing collaboration between the harbors of Antwerp and Matadi and the documentary Comme les Hirondelles à Inga (Raf Custers, 2007).