Monday, 15 June 2020
Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 driver and voice for the Black Lives Matter protests across the world, took on Belgium’s colonialism by posting an image that was taken in Congo on his Instagram.
The image shows a large birdcage on the floor, with a black child in it. Posing next to the cage are two white girls. Hamilton posted the photo on his Instagram account, followed by over 16.7 million people, with the caption “Congo, 1955 (Belgian colony at the time) this was only 65 years ago.”
The photo is also used as the cover of the book “Wit-zwart in zwart-wit” (White and black in black and white), which bundles photos and stories about Belgium’s colonial period on the occasion of sixty years of independence of Congo on 30 June 2020.
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The Belgian author of the book, historian Paul Van Damme, cannot unequivocally say what the exact context is of the photo, which is entitled ‘Three children playing.’
This is not the first time Hamilton has stood up for the Black Lives Matter movement. When a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston was pulled to the ground in Bristol, England, he wrote “I do not condone violence of criminal acts but you have had plenty of time to do this yourselves and haven’t. Power to the people.”
The Brussels Times