King Leopold II of Belgium was proclaimed the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State in 1885. Convincing the colonial European nations to commit to common trade and improving the lives of native inhabitants, he meanwhile extracted a fortune from the territory through an administration marked by forced labour, torture, and murder. Oliver Leu presents an eclectic collection of visual research, a reflection on both the visible representations of colonialism in Belgium today and the hidden traces of its gruesome past. He portrays an ambitious ruler with delusions of grandeur, showing the influence the exploitation of Leopold’s private colony still has on contemporary Belgium.
128 pages, 17 x 24 cm, softcover, The Eriskay Connection (Breda).