Newcastle Upon Tyne
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An exhibition exploring the complexities of the postcolonial city.
In 1882, the explorer Stanley looked down on what would become the city of Kinshasa: "My mind, when I survey the view, always reverts to the possibilities of the future. It is like looking at the fair face of a promising child; we find nought in it but innocence, and we fondly imagine that we see the germs of a future great genius..."
The treaties Stanley negotiated and the trading posts he established for Leopold II enabled the Belgian king's subsequent cruel plunder of the private venture he named as The Congo Free State. The colonial ambitions of Congo's emerging cities saw Central Africa's first skyscraper in 1946.