Strengthening African-European Connections



Sharing Past and Future

170p., special issue

African-European connections today are at a crossroads and under critical scrutiny. Calls are being made for the restitution of African cultural objects housed by European museums yet acquired during colonial times. Movements such as Black Lives Matter remind us of the direct connection between colonialism and racism, mobilising thousands of people against systemic forms of racism in European societies. In academia, a vibrant debate is forcing universities to finally decolonise their educational programmes and research collaborations.

Conscious of the need to reflect on how to revise our reading of the past and redesign future African-European connections, the Royal Museum for Central Africa and Egmont–Royal Institute for International Relations organised a conference in September 2018. Titled Sharing Past and Future: Strengthening African-European Connections, the conference offered a forum to over 50 African and European academics, activists, artists, politicians and other stakeholders, who critically reflected on how Africans and Europeans can cooperate in a shared and sustainable way. The eclectic nature of the contributions by some of these participants, as presented in this volume, shows that prominent voices agree to disagree about the modalities of restitution, the politics of memory, the legacy of colonialism, and the nature of future African-European connections. While there are no clear-cut answers or solutions to the challenges identified and reconfirmed during the conference, each contribution should be considered an invitation and stimulus to scrutinise existing African-European connections, and to contribute to a true decolonisation and redrafting of these ties on the basis of equity, respect and solidarity.

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16 x 24 cm