Leopold’s Legacy is a reflection on both the visible representations of colonialism in present-day Belgium, and the hidden traces of its gruesome past. Oliver Leu (DE) presents an eclectic collection of visual research, focusing on various topics from colonial monuments and prestigious architecture to antique postcards and collaged sculptures for alternative monuments. All these remnants of a once glorious past paint a wry story of decades of structural exploitation and genocide, and demonstrate how in Europe our collective perception of these events is gradually changing.
With Leopold’s Legacy, Leu paints the portrait of an ambitious ruler with delusions of grandeur, and the influence the exploitation of his private colony still has on his home country today.
Because of the eclectic nature of Oliver’s project, we decided to make an edit that accentuates this eclecticism, by splitting the book in several chapters, each printed on different types of paper. Each chapter also has a different design direction. For example, some parts only contain full-bleed images, other parts only have found footage with captions. The book itself is selfcovered with four-page cardboard signatures at the front and back.
Leopold’s Legacy Oliver Leu, 2020
170 × 240 mm, 152 p (EN) offset-printed selfcover with
linen cap, bronze foil print
and three different
types of paper in the book