"A companion book to that of Carl de Keyzer's own work in color of modern day Congo, 'Congo Belge en Images' is a selection of images of the Belgian colony from The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren, including some, rarely seen, from the era of King Leopold II,"
“Congo (Belge) - DE KEYZER, like fellow Belgian photographer Cedric GERBEHAYE, undertook the project in anticipation of the anniversary, fifty years ago today, of Congo’s independence from Belgium, and I was eager to have a look.
The book itself felt weighty as I balanced it on my knees. 'The idea was to copy a colonial book of a Belgian administrator working in the jungle or in a distant office in Belgium, designing the plan for a Belgian utopia in Central Africa,' DE KEYZER explained.
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s ongoing conflict, violence against women, and failure to harness natural resources has drawn attention from several photographers, from Marcus Bleasdale to Richard Mosse. De Keyzer takes a quieter approach, focussing on the ruins of colonial architecture and moments from daily life: a couple inside the Academy of Fine Arts; a child walking on his hands near a U.N. truck and the Cathedral of Bishopric. When considered with the companion book, 'Congo Belge en Images' - a selection of images from the colony, including some, rarely seen, from the era of King Leopold II - the work confronts you with the stark realities and repercussions of colonialism.
Though DE KEYZER told me that President Joseph Kabila refused to allow the work to be shown in the D.R.C., sixteen thousand copies of the book have been sold, and sixty thousand people attended a show in Antwerp. “People left the exhibition in tears,' DE KEYZER said. 'The subject is a bit taboo in Belgium. The work revealed things, and people really started talking—though more about the content than the photos.'
As DE KEYZER recognizes, 'The work is really more about Belgium than Congo. It’s about the idea of white people who think they can build a paradise with no regard for who lives there.'" (Whitney Johnson)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkLANcU8iEw (by bintbint, thx)
'Congo (Belge) en images ist der Begletband zu DE KEYZERs eigener Farbserie des modernen Congo. Im weissen Band findet sich eine Auswwahl von Bilder aus den Zeiten der belgischen Kolonialherrschaft aus dem Königlichen Museum Zentralafrikas / The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren.