(1. infamous gathering in session)
Today marks the 132nd anniversary of the beginning of the infamous 15 November 1884 – 26 February 1885 European leaders’ Berlin conference on Africa. The gathering was chaired by German Chancellor von Bismarck to formalise the pan-European seizure, planned occupation, and irrepressible exploitation of the gargantuan riches of the African World which Leopold II, the génocidaire king of the Belgians, described predatorily as “this magnificent African cake”. It was indeed to “secure for ourselves [Belgians] a slice of this magnificent African cake”, Leopold II’s own haunting words, that this monarch and his private forces and those of the Belgian state and others elsewhere in Europe carried out a catastrophic 30-year trail (1878-1908) of genocide against Africans in the Congo basin in which they annihilated 13 million constituent peoples.
The following countries attended the Berlin meeting: Belgium, Holland, Britain, France, Portugal, Ottoman “empire”, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Czarist Russia, Sweden-Norway, United States.
The catastrophic aftermath of this Berlin-assembly, essentially its state’s genocidist architecture (genocide in the Congo basin by Belgian Leopold II, Herero genocide, Nama genocide, Berg Damara genocide, Igbo genocide, Rwanda genocide, Darfur genocide, genocide elsewhere in the Sudan, genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ...) is the bane of contemporary Africa which the peoples, themselves, not anyone else, must dispense with to survive.
(2. infamous gathering in session: to formalise the pan-European seizure, planned occupation, and irrepressible exploitation of the gargantuan riches of the African World – “this magnificent African cake”)
(George Russell Sextet here plays “Nardis”, a composition by Miles Davis [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 8 May 1961])