Preceded by the film Métis, les enfants cachés de la colonisation

The mixed-race people of the Belgian Congo: a crime against humanity?


Wednesday 13 March – 19h00
Espace Pitoëff - Théâtre
Rue de Carouge 52, 1205 Geneva

Torn from their mothers, cut off from their fathers and forcibly placed in Catholic institutions in the Belgian Congo, several mixed-race Congolese women are seeking damages from Belgium. So far, all they have received is an apology.

During their childhood, five women were forcibly torn from their Congolese mothers and separated from their Belgian fathers. Victims of colonial violence that penetrated to the very heart of their lives, they were placed in religious institutions as “children of sin” and subjected to widespread abuse. They received apologies for these colonial crimes, but no compensation. It is now estimated that around 15,000 people of mixed race suffered the same fate. Today, these five women are seeking justice and compensation from the Belgian State for crimes against humanity. The proceedings are now under appeal.

Co-presented with TV5MONDE

Monique Bitu Bingi
Plaintiff in lawsuit against Belgian state
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Emmanuelle Saada
Historian, Columbia University
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Michèle Hirsch
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Monique Fernandes
Monique Bitu Bingi's daughter


Dominique Tchimbakala
Journalist, TV5MONDE
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French, english

By Dominique Regueme

Métis, les enfants cachés de la colonisation

During Belgian colonisation of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, mixed-race children born to a Belgian father and an African mother were torn from their families and deliberately isolated by the State in special boarding schools. Thousands of them were victims of this segregation during the period of Belgian rule, thus illustrating one of the facets of the colonial violence perpetrated in this region. On the eve of independence, some were even forced into exile and permanently separated from their mothers, their culture and their roots. They were moved to Belgium and adopted into foster families. This documentary portrays the poignant testimonies of six of these people, delving into their painful quest for identity and truth.

Swiss Premiere
Section : Documentaries - Out of Competition
Country : Belgium, France
Original language : French
Subtitle : English
Dominique Regueme
François Ladsous
Serge Kestemont
Supermouche Productions
Luna Blue Film
Jean-Marc Vervoort
Jean Thomé
Bruno Schweisguth
Marie Paulus
Valentin Guillaume
Rights holder
Supermouche Productions