1st Edition

Contested Heritage in Europe and Africa Representation, Commemoration, and Memorialization of a Connected Past

Edited By Marco Zoppi Copyright 2025
    258 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates Euro-African cultural relations, considering their connected histories through material and immaterial forms of representation, commemoration, and memorialization. Recent waves of protest around the world have called for restitution of looted African art, and toppled statues and vandalized monuments which are connected to white suprematism, colonialism, and imperialism. These events have highlighted an urgent need to debate the management and preservation of Europe and Africa’s shared heritage. Drawing on a range of varied, trans-continental case studies, this book considers the key question of whether such monuments should be removed as forms of unacceptable celebration of an evil past, or preserved precisely because of what they recount about that past of oppression and domination. The book encourages readers to consider how diverse and pervasive the notions of shared heritage and common past are, encompassing discussions of statues, exhibitions, graffiti, tapestries, and commemorations. Providing a timely analysis of the developing cultural relations between Africa and Europe, this book will be an important resource for researchers across the fields of global history, heritage studies, memory studies, and international relations.


    Valerie Higgins


    1. Iconographies of Oppression? Material and Immaterial Legacies of Euro-African Encounters

    Marco Zoppi


    2. The Khoekhoe, Vasco da Gama and the Limits of Written History

    Scott Nethersole


    3. Style Congo: Heritage and Heresy: Reappraising Art Nouveau in Brussels

    Kathleen James-Chakraborty


    4. Looking for East Africa in Italian Newspapers. The Press Coverage of the Vandalism of Montanelli’s Statue

    Marco Zoppi


    5. Unraveling Slave Sites in Europe: Reconsidering Europe as a Temperate, Slave Minority Site and African-Diasporic Space, Through Counter-Commemoration

    Chris J. Gismondi


    6. ‘L’Archive urbaine’: How the Yataal Art Initiative Commemorates the History of French Senegal in Dakar’s Médina Neighborhood of 1914

    Anna Helfer


    7.  Rethinking Iconographies of Suffering and Hope for European Refugees in Uganda: A Case Study of Our Lady Queen of Poland Catholic Church Nyabyeya – Masindi

    Jude Kateete


    8.  Colonial Impositions, Postcolonial Dilemmas and Contemporary Dynamics of Place Naming in Nairobi, Kenya

    Melissa Wanjiru-Mwita and Fawcett O. Komollo

    9. Unveiling Histories: Colonial Monuments and Street Names in Namibia's Public Space

    Helvi Inotila Elago-Moshell

    10. Conclusions

    Marco Zoppi


    Marco Zoppi is an independent researcher. His works focus on Euro-African relations and European affairs, including migration and security. He has authored some 50 academic publications.