In the wake of protests against racism in the United States, symbols fall in several European countries. Statues inherited from a slave or colonial past are targeted. In Africa, these debunks arouse mixed opinions.
In Dakar or Ouagadougou we greet “collective oblivion” and a “depollution of our imagination”. In some African cities, the dismantling of statues inherited from the slave or colonial past is seen favorably.
In Kinshasa, where the consequences of Belgian colonization are often mentioned, the statue of King Leopold II continues to overlook the Congo River.
The monument to the memory of the Belgian monarch, who made Congo his personal property between 1885 and 1908, lies next to his successor, AlbertIyourand the founder of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa), the British explorer Henry Stanley.
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The figures in this trio of colonial history are protected from the urban movement behind the high gates of the presidential park Mont-Ngaliema, a natural belvedere with a panoramic view of the river between “Kin” and Brazzaville, the capital of the present Congo.
But for the people of Kinshasa, their destruction “will not compensate for all the losses” suffered by the Congolese people. “Grandchildren will need this story,” says one resident.
In Pretoria, the word “killer” was painted on a statue of Paul Kruger. This Afrikaner had played a key role in introducing the power of the white minority to the black majority in South Africa.