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Why we did it



For a long time, the children of Patrice Lumumba sought to pay a dignified homage to their father, assassinated on January 17, 1961 in the south of the Congo, which had just been decolonized. But for a long time, they came up against denials, points of suspension, biased analyzes. The bloody elimination of the Congolese hero, a mythical figure of anti-imperialism, remains a sensitive subject for his country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as for the former colonial power, Belgium. And then, this summer, the story accelerated. Juliana, the daughter of Patrice Lumumba, directly asks the Belgian sovereign for the paternal remains. Two months later, the Brussels courts said “yes”.

Lumumba’s tooth, because it is the little that remains of it, will be returned to its beneficiaries. They will be able to bury their father “in the land of his ancestors”. It is the end of this seemingly interminable mourning that we wanted to understand and tell. It bears witness, beyond the tragic history of a family, to mentalities which are beginning to change. The descendants of the colonizers and the colonized finally begin, sixty years later, to be able to look each other in the eyes, appeased.

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