This post has been swirling in and around my head over the last few days, since visiting the British Museum. Galleries, museums, cathedrals, garden centre’s and anything artistic in form is straight down my alley. I have always had a level of curiosity by the historic and cultural significance of the pieces within the building.
The nearest station to the British Museum is Tottenham Court Road. Don’t waste anytime and yourself down there. Anybody wondering where you could take someone on a potential date, it’s here. Free entry, no need to concern you or your other. Before attending, do a little bit of research and make yourself look more knowledgeable.
I have been lucky enough to have the ability to experience, a few museums/galleries domestically and in Europe. This visit to the British Museum left an uneasy taste in my mouth.
The place is designed like a maze. I felt like me and my brother (Aaron) were at times at complete loss with all the history, circulating all around us.
The visit to the museum gave me the experience to also see a dead body for the first time in my life. The poor individual,whom passed away, due to a blow that he received to the back of the head. It was surreal experience. He was laid beside a open sarcophagus, allowing visitors to witness the detailed drawings within the sarcophagus.
The awe of watching him there, was the fact that his body had been preserved so well. His skeletal remains, skin and hair were still all clear to see. I did feel a bit eerie reading of his last moments as people nearby were busy away taking their pictures with him, as he was the main attraction in a room filled with Egyptian artefacts.
After sweeping through everything related to the Egyptians history. We came around to a full circle without me seeing what I set out to see, which was “The Pantheon”. As I’ve already mentioned earlier in this post, this place is a maze. After wishing thinking and failures to read directions correctly, we simply just asked directions.
And there it was, The Pantheon.
The Pantheon, which was built as a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Once upon a time, it was the centrepiece of a pioneering and aggressive building project on the Acropolis of Athens.
At this point, I’m satisfied, I’ve seen everything that I wanted to see.
On our way out of “The Pantheon” we noticed that there is an African dedicated section in the British Museum. A Museum which I believe should be remained “The World Museum” as the British content in the museum is relatively low as it’s overshadowed by the more mythical and memorable intelligence of past significant ruling kingdoms in history.
As we made our way into the rather hidden African section of the museum. Both, myself and my brother were taken back at how many Congolese artefacts that were within this section. For those of you who are not aware, both of my parents are from DR Congo.
Being surrounded by these Congolese pieces had both of us in very mixed feelings. On one hand seeing all the Congolese pieces, gave us a sense of pride of the all the culture that circulated us. Whilst the other hand was very heavy, heavy with anger.
The anger came from place that has always been there, whenever my mind thinks of Congo. There is a little tale that is often told relating to Congo.
The tale goes as, when the Creator was busy creating the Earth and everything in it. After creating the skies, earth, sea’s and oceans. The Creator began distributing the natural wealth throughout the lands, picking out of the bag of goods that was carried. After a while, the Creator decided to take a much needed break. Time to rest. As the Creator tossed and turned in deep sleep the bag of goods that supported his head, began to slowly release it’s contents. With every turn, the bag of goods was emptying. The now heavy bag is empty. The Creator finally wakes from his rest feeling fresh and energised. As the Creator attempts to reach out and grab the bag he notices, that the contents of the now empty bag has fallen on Congo.
Congo is glistening, the natural wealth can be seen from the stars. Congo had now become the worlds nutritional home.
Fast forward to modern times, the country has the natural potential to be the worlds richest nation due to it’s natural resources alone. The mining industry of DR Congo plays a major role in the world’s production of cobalt, copper, diamond, tantalum, gold and tin.
Your iPhone contains a little bit of Congo in it. Cobalt is the real life version of Vibranium. Unlike Wakanda, DR Congo is not a thriving nation hiding under it’s invisible cloak of protection.
And then there is me. Looking at all this culture with excitement and amazement, whilst still creating mental pictures of King Leopold II of Belgium finding and officially becoming the sole owner Congo after a conference in Berlin, where he was authorised to “improve the lives” of the native inhabitants. A time that Congo has never fully recovered from, its silent Holocaust.
I couldn’t help but think of Killmonger in Black Panther, looking at these artefacts from various nations in Africa.
“It was taken by British soldiers in Benin, but it’s from Wakanda. And it’s made out of vibranium. Don’t trip, I’m gonna take it of your hands for you.”
If I could attach a quote to any room, this would be fitting of this little section of the “British Museum”. The more we stayed in the section, the more we felt better about the experience of connecting to our past. Connecting to our ancestors and our mother practises. The energy I felt being in that room, is something that I have never experienced before and it’s moment me and Aaron will always share.
To potential visitors of the place, I repeat again, please go! You’ll leave the place with more questions than you original anticipated.
Educate, enjoy, experience the day.
Thank you for reading this post. Hopefully within my lifetime, Congo will be allowed to rest. For now you all know the deal, stay positive, stay smiling.
Happy Birthday Aaron. Enjoy your day, young King.