In this, the first of three Live Book Clubs, the artist Laura Nsengiyumva will moderate a conversation between two young readers: Emmanuel Iyamu and Seckou Ouologuem. Despite their youth, both have become masters in the decolonisation of our minds. The starting point for this conversation is the book Wanneer we spreken over kolonisatie / Quand on parle de la colonisation (2017).
This is the first book to be translated into Dutch in which Congolese historians – educated and active in their own country – address the theme of colonialism. An astonishing fact, given that the Congo has been independent for almost sixty years. The fact that it is the first characterises the almost complete lack of a Congolese voice of opposition in the colonial debate. And that makes Belgium unique among other former colonial powers. The artists Vesna Faassen and Lukas Verdijk are the initiators of this book project. Their aim was to develop a story of many voices on a theme linked to colonisation, decolonisation and post-colonisation. This was to be done by Congolese voices, speaking for themselves, but also by making the Dutch language part of the debate. The duo intends their project to change the locus of control. This Live Book Club is a powerful example of how it can be done.