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DR Congo compares Belgian foreign minister to Tintin

jockosjungle
Member
#1 · Posted: 22 Oct 2004 17:51
Interesting article on BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3944591.stm

Basically the Democratic Republic of Congo has recalled its ambassador to Belgium, following critical remarks made by the Belgian foreign minister.

Apparently there is ill feeling over the book in Africa, I always thought it was freely available all over Africa?

Rik
Richard
UK Correspondent
#2 · Posted: 22 Oct 2004 19:52
According to "Tintin and the World of Hergé", it is. And in "Tintin, Grand Voyageur du Siècle", it talks of artisans producing sculptures of Tintin's Ford Model T, Tintin himself, Snowy, and also Haddock, despite not appearing in "Tintin in the Congo". I don't think there's that much ill-feeling really; they at least allowed the book to be published in colour, so it can't bother them that much. Unlike for us, of course, where the book is still taboo (although hopefully 2007 will see it in English for the first time).

It's quite odd, comparing the foreign minister to Tintin in a critical manner. If it wasn't for "Tintin in the Congo", then being compared to Tintin would be a compliment !
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 23 Oct 2004 09:58
I think attitudes to something like that can change very quickly, and I have always felt that there has been quite a lot of gung-ho defence for the book based on supposed universal acceptance in Africa, without acknowledging that there must be people there who have found it offensive. I feel that they have always looked out the sales-figures, and dusted off the anecdote about the little Congolese boy who thought he looked like Tintin, and that has been enough - I never feel that they have actually taken the issue out to the people, and sound them out. This news story appears to start to bear out that fact.

You can buy carved wooden figures of Tintin, Snowy and Haddock in a shop in West Hampstead in London, but you can also buy lots of other things made in sweat-shops (jeans, trainers etc.) which in no way reflect that the artisan sw it as anything other than a way to feed themselves and their family.

I’d also question what regime was in power when the colour book became available - was it white colonial, by any chance? I’ve said it before – I accept that Hergé wasn’t a racist at heart, in the sense of being White Supremacist, and only fell in with the mores of his time; he even had multi-culturalist tendencies, and fostered the cause of the Chinese in the struggle against Japanese imperialism. However he had it in his gift to re-work “Congo” at any time, and fashion it into a fairer book, and he didn’t, and that was unfortunate.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#4 · Posted: 23 Oct 2004 10:40
What's worse, acting "like Tintin" or being part of a goverment to a country in which four million people have died from massacre, famine and disease?
Jyrki21
Member
#5 · Posted: 24 Oct 2004 07:02 · Edited by: Jyrki21
I’d also question what regime was in power when the colour book became available - was it white colonial, by any chance? I’ve said it before – I accept that Hergé wasn’t a racist at heart, in the sense of being White Supremacist, and only fell in with the mores of his time; he even had multi-culturalist tendencies, and fostered the cause of the Chinese in the struggle against Japanese imperialism. However he had it in his gift to re-work “Congo” at any time, and fashion it into a fairer book, and he didn’t, and that was unfortunate.

What year did the color version come out? Congo/Zaïre gained independence from Belgium in 1960, and Moboutu Sese Seko proceeded to run the place like his own fiefdom until 1997, when he was toppled by Laurent Kabila and the country was renamed a second time.

But prior to that, Congo was never run with an apartheid regime in the fashion of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) or South Africa... I don't think there were that many Belgian settlers there.

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