Walking tour

Colonial ideology: utopia, art and technology

© Alfred de Ville de Goyet

The traces of colonialism are many and varied. Colonialism was underpinned by very specific theories and ideas that led thousands of Europeans to leave their home countries. Colonial history is also a story of philosophy. It was, in part, based on philosophical arguments that Western society imposed itself on the world, with all the ethical issues this brought with it.

On this tour, we will consider various philosophical aspects of colonialism through the heritage of Brussels, and of Schaerbeek/Schaarbeek in particular. You will learn how the arts were permeated by the colonial imagination, how leading writers took a stance on the colonial enterprise, and how technological advances were driven by ideals as much as by steam power. You will also discover the role played by the Belgian Congo in what were not only major global conflicts but also ideological battles.

Last but not least, you will see how the colonial philosophy has influenced our writing of history and even what we eat.

In cooperation with Le Tamanoir.

Practical information

Sat. & Sun. at 10:00, 13:30 and 15:30 (FR) and Sat. & Sun. at 10:00, 13:30 and 15:30 (NL) (duration: 1 hour 30 minutes)
Starting point: Docks Bruxsel/Bruxsel Docks tram stop, Quai des Usines/Werkhuizenkaai 112, Brussels

Advance booking required. Up to 20 people per tour.