Recaptioning Congo. African Stories and Colonial Pictures. Number of pages: 272. Lannoo Publishers.

Recaptioning Congo: African Stories and Colonial Pictures takes on the crucial task of reclaiming the colonial visual narratives of the Congo, providing an extensive, multi-layered examination of this complicated photographic history. Published as a companion to an exhibition at FOMU Antwerp, the volume functions as a dialogue between texts by contemporary Congolese writers Sinzo Aanza, In Koli Jean Bofane, and Annie Lulu, and the historical archival photographs, breathing new meaning into images created and received through a biased, colonizing lens. The catalog design takes its inspiration from the minimalism and primary colors utilized by W. E. B. Du Bois in the sociological graphs created for his 1900 Paris World’s Fair “Exposition des Nègres d’Amérique.” This understated approach allows for an elegant and clear visual structure in support of the consequential and pressing historical analysis contained within.The book had the Juror’s Special Mention in Paris Photo 2023.


Writers and artists take a new look at the photo archives of Colonial Congo. Recaptioning Congo places the colonial Congo’s photography history in new perspectives. Various writers take an African-centered look at imperial archival images and provide them with creative, contemporary and/or literary ‘captions’.The book accompanies an exhibition at FOMU photography museum in Antwerp and is based upon the extensive research of the photographic history of colonial Congo (1885 – 1960), conducted by Dr. Sandrine Colard. It contains a wealth of revealing images (a lot of them by Jean Depara) that highlight the relationship between past and present, Africa and Europe and Belgium and Congo.