Valerie RosouxMay 30, 2023
The Limits of a Fairy Tale
New Books Network 2023
In this episode of International Horizons, Valerie Rosoux, Research Director at the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) discusses the disagreements in the historiography of Belgium's human rights violations during its colonial activities in Congo, and how Belgium's case differs from those of Netherlands and France in coming to terms with their colonial past from the perspective of the elites', religion, and parties. In dealing with these, she argues that had Belgium's politicians known literature and focused on solving the inequalities of the present, they could have been more effective.
Moreover, Rousoux claims that the Black Lives Matter protests informed the narratives around past colonialism and discrimination in Belgium, although Belgium's civil society's claims haven't been completely addressed. Finally, the author analyzes how historical figures such as Victor Hugo are deemed as racists, and the richness of these views outside scholarly paradigms.