The Haunting Past of Colonialism in Belgium: The death of Patrice Lumumba in public memory

Georgi Verbeeck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The remembrance of the death of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of the Republic of the Congo in Belgium is indicative of a fundamental transformation in the latter country's public memory of its former role as a colonizing power in Central Africa. After decades of public amnesia and hesitation to confront the past, a new narrative is slowly gaining ground. A gradual transformation process is taking place at the intersection of historical research, political intervention, and popular culture. Changes in Belgium's memory landscape not only reflect wider international trends but also express national and particular sensitivities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Public History
Issue number2
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2022


  • Belgium
  • Congo
  • decolonization
  • Patrice Lumumba
  • politics of history

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