In 1933-34, the Belgians conducted a census in order to issue ‘ethnic’ identity cards, which labelled every Rwandan as either Hutu (85%) of Tutsi (14%) or Twa (1%). The identity cards made it virtually impossible for Hutus to become Tutsis, and permitted the Belgians to perfect the administration of an apartheid system rooted in the myth of Tutsi superiority… Whatever Hutu and Tutsi identity may have stood for in the pre-colonial state no longer mattered; the Belgians had made ‘ethnicity’ the defining feature of Rwandan existence.
I thought of a high school report I did on the Belgian artist Rene Magritte and a quote I once read from him, something about his favorite walk being the one he took around his own bedroom. He said that he never understood the need for people to travel because all the poetry and perspective you're ever going to get you already posses. Anais Nin had the same idea. We see the world as we are. So if it's the same brain we bring with us every time we open our eyes, what's the difference if we're looking at an... Read more »
From Roger Bacon, the 13th century Franciscan who pioneered the scientific method, to George Lemaitre, the 20th century Belgian priest who first developed a mathematical foundation for the 'Big Bang,' people of faith have played a key role in advancing scientific understanding.
Consider the death of Princess Diana. This accident involved an English citizen, with an Egyptian boyfriend, crashed in a French tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian, who was drunk on Scotch whiskey, followed closely by Italian paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, and finally treated with Brazilian medicines by an American doctor. In this case, even leaving aside the fame of the victims, a mere neighborhood canvass would hardly have completed the forensic picture, as it might have a generation before.
I'm just full of surprises." Watching her, he waved the wrapped bar from side to side. "You can have the candy if you sit on my lap." That sounds like something perverted old men say to young, stupid girls." I'm not old, and you're not stupid." He sat, patted his knee. "It's Belgian chocolate." Just because I'm sitting on your lap and eating your candy doesn't mean you can cop a feel," she said as she folded into his lap.
We once discussed which were the cleanest troops in the trenches, taken by nationalities. We agreed on a descending-order like this: English and German Protestants; Northern Irish, Welsh and Canadians; Irish and German Catholics; Scots; Mohammedan Indians; Algerians; Portugese; Belgians; French. We put the Belgians and French there for spite; they could not have been dirtier than the Algerians and the Portugese.
I'm happy to have a physical part in 'High Tension,' in 'Hereafter,' and in a lot of French movies and Belgian movies. But its not by chance directors choose me for physical parts. I like to do that. I like to tell a story also with the body. It's important, because you can tell a lot of things.
I worked at a factory owned by Germans, at coal pits owned by Frenchmen, and at a chemical plant owned by Belgians. There I discovered something about capitalists. They are all alike, whatever the nationality. All they wanted from me was the most work for the least money that kept me alive. So I became a communist.