The 1950s in the Belgian Congo saw the climax of the colonial photographic project. The wide-ranging and concerted engagement with the medium on the part of the governmental agency InforCongo left a unique and vast archive of that time, and one of its main subjects was the depiction of the middle-class, ‘civilised’ Congolese, the so-called évolué. The participation of African photographers in this official image-making complicates our understanding of colonial photography.

Sandrine Colard holds a Ph.D. in art history (Columbia University, New York). Her dissertation is about the history of photography in colonial Congo.