Light on the Dark Continent: The Photography of Alice Seely Harris and the Congo Atrocities of the Early Twentieth Century

  title={Light on the Dark Continent: The Photography of Alice Seely Harris and the Congo Atrocities of the Early Twentieth Century},
  author={Taylor James Thompson},
  journal={International Bulletin of Mission Research},
  pages={146 - 149}
  • T. Thompson
  • Published 1 October 2002
  • Sociology
  • International Bulletin of Mission Research
I n 1905Mark Twain published King Leopold's Soliloquy, an imaginary rumination by the Bel­ gian king on the troubles caused him by those campaigning against his administration in the Congo Free State. Part of Leopold's fictional meditation is on the difficulties caused him by the evid ence of the camera.Twain has him lament: "The ' Kodak has been a sore calamity to us. The most pow erful enemy that has confronted us. . . . The only witness I have encountered in my long career that I couldn't… 
The Unbribable Witness: Image, Word, and Testimony of Crimes against Humanity in Mark Twain’s King Leopold’s Soliloquy (1905)
  • Nora Nunn
  • Sociology
    Genocide Studies and Prevention
  • 2018
In the creation of King Leopold’s Soliloquy, a textured, visually irrefutable, and darkly satirical account of crimes against humanity in the Belgian Congo Free State, Mark Twain aimed to evoke his
Snap of the Whip/Crossroads of Shame: Flogging, Photography, and the Representation of Atrocity in the Congo Reform Campaign
This article examines the recurrent iconography of the black body under the whip, and its ambivalent reception among British evangelical Christians during the colonial era. Flogging images have often
From Hampton “[I]nto the Heart of Africa”: How Faith in God and Folklore Turned Congo Missionary William Sheppard into a Pioneering Ethnologist
The African-American missionary, William Henry Sheppard Jr. (1865-1927), lived in the Kuba kingdom of central Africa at the turn of the twentieth century. A student of Virginia's Hampton (Normal)
Alice Seeley Harris, the Atrocity Rhetoric of the Congo Reform Movements, and the Demise of King Léopold's Congo Free State
The author of this article provides a postcolonial study of the missionary identities that were formed when Alice Harris and other Protestant missionaries joined the Congo Reform movements that led
One hundred years of suffering? “Humanitarian crisis photography” and self-representation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Humanitarian images streaming from the ongoing conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are not “new”. In fact, contemporary aid and journalistic images strikingly mimic
Towards a History of Mass Violence in the Etat Indépendant du Congo, 1885–1908
ABSTRACT The present article provides an up-to-date scholarly introduction to mass violence in the Etat Indépendant du Congo (Congo Free State, EIC). Its aims are twofold: to offer a point of access
Beyond the 'imperial mystique' : empire and national identity in the Portuguese Estado Novo (c. 1930-1951)
Whilst being a period of consolidation for the Portuguese right-wing dictatorship known as Estado Novo, the 1930s and 1940s were marked by geopolitical change and major redefinition of mental maps
Writing the History of African Christianity: Reflections of an Editor
This article reviews the literature on African Christian Studies from the 1990s onwards and suggests new directions for research. The field has drawn great impetus from a series of
Continents manuscrits, 11 | 2018
The article outlines some of the historical traces for the eco-crisis that presently threatens the first and most outstanding national park in Africa, homeland of the mountain gorilla. Texts and
Regarding Aid: The photographic situation of humanitarianism
............................................................................................................................... i Acknowledgments


King Leopold’s Soliloquy
  • Mark Twain
  • Political Science
    Archives of Empire
  • 2020
"Leopold II is the absolute Master of the whole of the internal and external activity of the Independent State of the Congo. The organization of justice, the army, the industrial and commercial
A True Tale of Adventure in the Nineteenth-Century Congo (New York: Viking
  • 2002
Leopold's Ghost: A Storyof Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa(New
  • 1998
I am grateful for this reference to Kevin Grant, whose detailed article "ChristianCritics of Empire: Missionaries, Lantern Lectures, and the Congo Reform Campaign in Britain,
  • The Camera and Congo Crime (London: ca
  • 1909
Correspondence andReportfromHisMajesty'sConsul at Boma Respecting the Administration of the Independent State of the Congo (London
  • 1904
Grattan-Guinness, Congo Slavery: A BriefSurveyoftheCongo Question from the Humanitarian Point of View (London: R.B.M.U
  • Publication Dept.,
  • 1904
HeartofDarkness (London: 1902);see Jim Zwick, ed., "Reforming the Heart of Darkness," <>
  • 1902