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Rubber for sale, Kasai District

Section of Lazarette on one of Congo state rubber plantations, Barumbu

Superintendent of rubber plantation and farm at Banganju, Aruwimi, with wife and child

Tapping rubber trees at Yala, Juapa River

Young Boy Forced to Collect Rubber.jpg

Young Boy Forced to Collect Rubber

A young boy forced to collect rubber for the Anglo-Belgium India Rubber Company (ABIR). The rubber quotas imposed on the indigenous population were so great that, as in this picture, the rubber vines were cut down rather than waiting for them to be tapped. As a result hardly any vines were left around the rubber stations. This image formed part of the Harris Lantern Slide Collection. Under King Leopold II the Congo Free State used mass forced labour to extract rubber from the jungle for the European market. As consumer demand grew King Leopold II's private army - the Force Publique - used violent means to coerce the population into meeting quotas, including murder, mutilation, rape, village burning, starvation and hostage taking. Alice Seeley Harris and her husband Reverend John H. Harris were missionaries in the Congo Free State from the late 1890s. Alice produced a collection of images documenting the horrific abuses of the African rubber labourers. Her photographs are considered to be an important development in the history of humanitarian campaigning. The images were used in a number of publications. The Harrises also used the photographs to develop the Congo Atrocity Lantern Lecture which toured Britain and the the USA raising awareness of the issue of colonial abuses under King Leopold II's regime. Source: Antislavery International and Panos Pictures.