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

By Kevin C. Dunn (auth.)

Understanding the present civil struggle 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 with a view to examine the political implications of that id, having a look intimately at 4 ancient sessions within which the id of the Congo used to be contested, with various forces trying to produce and fix meanings to its territory and folks. Dunn seems to be in particular at how what he calls 'imaginings' of the Congo have allowed the present scenario there to strengthen, yet he additionally appears to be like on the broader conceptual query of ways the idea that of identification has constructed and turn into vital in fresh diplomacy scholarship.

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Imagining the Congo: The International Relations of Identity

Realizing the present civil battle within the Congo calls for an exam of the way the Congo's identification has been imagined through the years. Imagining the Congo historicizes and contextualizes the buildings of the Congo's id in an effort to learn the political implications of that id, taking a look intimately at 4 old sessions within which the id of the Congo was once contested, with various forces trying to produce and fasten meanings to its territory and other people.

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As Pratt has noted, “subsistence lifeways, nonmonetary exchange systems, and self-sustaining regional economies are anathema to expansive capitalism. It seeks to destroy them wherever it finds them” (Pratt 1992, 154–155). Thus, traditional economic exchanges were represented as “irrational” and “fetishistic,” resulting in the disavowal of them as legitimate systems. This move was symptomatic of the struggle to dictate the terms of colonial contact by controlling its dominant material and symbolic values.

Humans) and the beasts on a racialized evolutionary ladder. Stanley often referred to Africans as “beasts” and “apes” and compared them to dogs, often as the canine’s inferiors. 1). Such images provided “evidence” for various evolutionary and anthropological paradigms of the time and identified African subjects—by 30 Kevin C. Dunn proximity—as more animal than man, emphasizing their inhumanity. The use of photography was emblematic, verifying the existence of an objective, “scientific” attitude.

Ultimately, Leopold II’s colonial project in the Congo became the target of international scorn. Images of colonial brutality, immortalized by the “Red Rubber” campaign of the Congo Reform movement, brought tremendous pressure on Leopold II and the Belgian state. As such, this chapter will conclude with a discussion of the international context within which the colonial project was pursued. Particular attention will be paid to the works of the international reform movement, led by E. D. Morel. The Congo, like most other African states, was a European invention, defined and delineated through colonial discourses.

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