Square de Léopoldville of Place Lumumba? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 129, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



The Belgian colonial past is dealt with one-sidedly in the public space. Belgium has hundreds of street names and memorials for white colonials, but not a single tribute to a Congolese. Several colonial monuments have been subject to protest and vandalism, but none of them has been removed or adapted, and only two have been updated with interpretive plaques. Outside the greater cities, local councils continue to erect new memorials for missionaries or relocate monuments to the pioneers of the Congo Free State to more prominent locations. The demand of Congolese migrants to name a square in Brussels after Lumumba has yet to be fulfilled after more than a decade. This overall situation can be explained by several factors, including the catharsis following intense post-colonial debates at the turn of the century, limited post-colonial migration, and the Belgian identity crisis.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Belgium; Congo; postcolonialism; statues; street names
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