Imagining the Congo: The International Relations of Identity by Kevin C. Dunn (auth.)

By Kevin C. Dunn (auth.)

Understanding the present civil warfare within the Congo calls for an exam of ways the Congo's id has been imagined through the years. Imagining the Congo historicizes and contextualizes the buildings of the Congo's id for you to study the political implications of that id, taking a look intimately at 4 ancient sessions during which the id of the Congo was once contested, with various forces trying to produce and fix meanings to its territory and folks. Dunn appears to be like in particular at how what he calls 'imaginings' of the Congo have allowed the present situation there to increase, yet he additionally appears to be like on the broader conceptual query of ways the idea that of identification has constructed and turn into very important in contemporary diplomacy scholarship.

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Imagining the Congo: The International Relations of Identity

Realizing the present civil warfare within the Congo calls for an exam of ways the Congo's identification has been imagined through the years. Imagining the Congo historicizes and contextualizes the buildings of the Congo's identification so that it will research the political implications of that id, having a look intimately at 4 historic classes within which the identification of the Congo was once contested, with quite a few forces trying to produce and connect meanings to its territory and other people.

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The village of Tervuren was the site of the Colonial Exhibition for the 1897 World’s Fair, which hosted over a million visitors. There, a Palais des Colonies was made up of numerous rooms trumpeting the glories and benefits of Leopold II’s possession of the Congo: a Salon d’Honneur featuring statues and artifacts praising Leopold II and his colonial agents; a Salle d’Ethnographie crowded with various pieces of “Congolese” life: ivory Inventing the Congo 35 tusks, shields, spears, masks, fabric, utensils, and tools, as well as paintings and sculptures by European artists and miniature models of “authentic” huts and villages; a Salle des Importations featuring Western products introduced to the Congo (many of which remained the exclusive possession of whites); and a Salle des Exportations and a Salon des grandes cultures, both of which featured the raw materials extracted from the Congo, such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, and rubber (Luwel 1967; Lüsebrink 1993).

A collective they was invented, whose identity was discursively linked to the territorial construction now known as the Congo. The disciplinary power of the colonial state was able to further reify these Inventing the Congo 27 constructed categories of identification and classification to produce social identities for political regulation. The colonial powers’ production of colonial subjects subdivided the Congolese social body through the socially regulated categories of tribes, ethnicity, race, age, gender, and so forth.

Fancy a church spire rising where that tamarind rears its dark crown of foliage, and think how well a score or so of pretty cottages would look instead of those thorn clumps and gum trees! Fancy this lovely valley teeming with herds of cattle and fields of corn, spreading to the right and left of this stream! How much better would such a state become this valley, rather than its present deserted and wild aspect! But be hopeful. The day will come and a future year will see it, when happier lands have become crowded and nations have become so overgrown that they have no room to turn about.

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