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Recalling the Belgian Congo : conversations and introspection

Author: Marie-Bénédicte Dembour
Publisher: New York : Berghahn Books, 2000.
Series: New directions in anthropology, v. 9.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"When the author embarked on her study, her aim was to approach former colonial officers with a view to analyzing processes of domination in the ex-Belgian Congo. However, after establishing a rapport with some of these officers, the author was soon forced to revise her initial assumptions, widely held in present-day Belgium: these officers were not the "baddies" she had expected to meet. Exploring the colonial  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Dembour, Marie-Bénédicte, 1961-
Recalling the Belgian Congo.
New York : Berghahn Books, 2000
(OCoLC)606410588
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Marie-Bénédicte Dembour
ISBN: 1571819452 9781571819451 9781571817563 1571817565
OCLC Number: 40267629
Description: xx, 235 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm.
Contents: Writing about colonialism --
Discordant colonial memories --
The ever-transforming process of memory --
A reflexive and diaological ethnography --
Why 'Recalling the Belgian Congo'? --
The territorial service: creation, ranks and numbers --
The territorial functions --
Internal organisation: Transfers, itinerance and control --
The territorials as a group of Belgian men in a wider society --
Original prejudice against colonialism --
Seeking to appear unthreatening --
In search of the real Congo --
A matter of interpretation --
Muted voices --
The chance to be recognised by the outside world --
The objective witness --
True history will not take over --
Significant modalities --
The terms of the dialogue --
The value of memory.
Series Title: New directions in anthropology, v. 9.
Responsibility: Marie-Bénédicte Dembour.

Abstract:

"When the author embarked on her study, her aim was to approach former colonial officers with a view to analyzing processes of domination in the ex-Belgian Congo. However, after establishing a rapport with some of these officers, the author was soon forced to revise her initial assumptions, widely held in present-day Belgium: these officers were not the "baddies" she had expected to meet. Exploring the colonial experience through the respondents' memories resulting in a far more complex picture of the colonial situation than she had anticipated, again forcing her to question her original assumptions. This resulted not only in a more differentiated persective on Belgian colonialist rule, but it also sensitized her as regards the question of anthropological understanding and of what constitutes a historical fact. These two aspects of her work are reflected in this study that offers specific material on the way Belgian colonialism is remembered and reflects on its conditions of production, thus combining ethnographic analysis with a theoretical essay."--Jacket.

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"Dembour is to be warmly congratulated on her achievement, both intellectually and in terms of memory retrieval content ... Its anthropological skills and merits apart, for readers [interested] in Read more...

 
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