The book Die Weissen Kommen (The Whites are Coming) by Gert von Paczensky captures the essence of European colonialism, which was driven by the pursuit of wealth and power. It was characterized by the systematic exploitation of the resources and labor of the colonized peoples, leading to a massive transfer of wealth from the colonies to the colonizing countries. This plundering was not limited to natural resources and commodities, but also included the lives, cultures, and dignity of the indigenous peoples.

European colonialism relied on the submission of the indigenous people, often through violent means, such as massacres, mass murders, and wars. This submission was not just limited to the use of force, but also involved the imposition of European culture and values on the colonized peoples. In many cases, the colonizers saw themselves as superior to the indigenous peoples, and their goal was to "civilize" or "Christianize" them.

Religion was often used as a justification for colonialism, with European missionaries claiming that they were bringing the word of God to the heathen peoples. However, this often masked a more sinister agenda, with the missionaries serving as agents of colonial power. The imposition of Christianity often involved the destruction of indigenous religions and cultures, leading to the loss of identity and a sense of belonging for many indigenous peoples.

One example of the horrors of European colonialism is the history of the Congo, which was under the brutal rule of King Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold's regime was responsible for the deaths of millions of Congolese people, as well as the forced labor of many more. The rubber trade was a key driver of the violence, with Congolese workers subjected to brutal treatment, including amputations, for failing to meet rubber quotas.

Die Weissen Kommen (The Whites are Coming) by Gert von Paczensky is a powerful critique of European colonialism. The book highlights the violence, exploitation, and racism that underpinned the colonial project. It also underscores the ongoing impact of colonialism, which continues to shape the lives and futures of many people around the world. By visualizing the various aspects of European colonial history, we can better understand the roots of contemporary global inequalities and work towards a more just and equitable future.
Released: 2011-2014
Material: Handmade collage