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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Colonial bones: the 2006 burial of Savorgnan de Brazza in the Congo
Author:Bernault, FlorenceISNI
Year:2010
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Volume:109
Issue:436
Pages:367-390
Language:English
Geographic terms:Congo (Republic of)
France
Subjects:international politics
power
body
colonialism
monuments
About person:Pierre Paul Franšois Camille Savorgnan de BrazzÓ (1852-1905)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40783707
Abstract:The Franco-Congolese agreement to enshrine the corpse of Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza in a grand memorial tomb in Brazzaville (2006) has been decried by many observers as neocolonial farce. This article interprets France's agenda to propose a 'suave reconquest' of its former colonies, and Sassou Nguesso's forceful mobilization of national and regional support. Beyond the immediate political significance of the episode, however, the article proposes new ideas on the ways in which modern States, North and South, depend on 'tournaments of value' that assign polarized worth to persons, and often back up international deals with transactions in sanctified human remains. The tactic, forged in part during the colonial era, illuminates important aspects of today's global imaginaries of domination. Brazza's bones work, in France and Africa, as a carnal fetish that, borrowing from various philosophies of power, merges Western and African beliefs in the body politic. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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