Chiara Candaele will be giving this Black History Month seminar on 'Résolution Métis: A governmental inquiry into forced separations of mixed-race minors in Belgian Africa (1885 1962)'
In various imperial spaces, the off-spring of interracial encounters became the target of a multitude of colonial civilising initiatives. The Belgian colonial realm formed no exception in this regard. Since the instalment of Belgian colonial dominance during King Leopold II’s reign, children of African-European descent, named métis, were separated from their Indigenous families and placed in institutions managed by Catholic and Protestant congregations.
Additionally, some children have been displaced to the former metropole, most notably in the wake of the Congolese, Rwandan and Burundian Independence. On 29 March 2018, the Belgian Chamber of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution “on the segregation of which the métis born in the context of the Belgian colonisation in Africa were victims”, – the so-called Métis Resolution – , followed by formal excuses issued by Prime Minister Charles Michel.
In September 2019, the government commissioned the two-phased archival and historical research project ‘Résolution Métis’, which is carried out under the supervision of the State Archives of Belgium (Algemeen Rijksarchief). This talk considers the entanglement of societal, political and scholarly ‘stakes’ of the ongoing research project while offering an opportunity to ponder on the opportunities and limits of historical inquiry in light of contemporary decolonisation debates
Our speaker is Chiara Candaele from the University of Antwerp and Belgian State Archives.
This seminar is in person and will also be available on zoom.