Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Africa Museum Brussels

This is the museum that was built to celebrate King Leopold's "civilising mission" in the Congo.
It's having a "farewell" exhibition, as it is about to close for several years to undergo a refurbishment.
One of the things they will be addressing is the tone of some of the displays, which portray african culture as primitive and savage and the influence of the Belgians as civilising.
After visiting, I hope they keep some of those cabinets intact as an illustration of their attitude of the time.
It would be a great injustice to whitewash the past with a thoroughly modern museum; full of contemporary attitudes to anthropology and artifacts that made no recognition of what the historical attitudes of the coloniser were.

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