Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Royal Museum for Central Africa

Today I only had one interview so I decided to go to the Royal Museum for Central Africa. It is outside of the city in Tevuren. It was built for the 1897 World Exhibition to show off the Belgian Congo by Leopold II. The exhibition displayed objects from Africa, stuffed animals and in the "Hall of the Great Cultures" Congo's most important exports were displayed: coffee, rubber and tobacco. In the park, a copy of an African village was built, in which 60 Africans lived (imported from the Congo). The exposition was a huge success.

This museum was super awkward.

1) The STUFFED ANIMALS: Like real stuffed animals.

It was so sad to see all the baby animals there. They specifically went hunting for them!

2) It had an awkward "White Man's Burden" feel to it.

They had status of Africans seeming weak and like they needed protection and made the Belgians seem the the protectors.

It was uncomfortable to walk around and see the results of the raping and pillaging of a country 180 times the size of the Belgium.

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