Afryka jest moim drugim domem mówi Ryszard Kapuściński na wręczeniu nagród Prix de l’Astrolable w Saint-Malo we Francji (12. międzynarodowy festiwal książki Etonnants Voyageurs, 31 V – 4 VI 2001). Najtrudniej według Kapu jest wytłumaczyć Afrykańczykom, że można być skolonizowanym przez białych, samemu będąc białym. Na spotkaniu omawiano książki Imperium i Heban (rozdział o Lagos). Długość nagrania 28:43.
Video in French. Kapu speaks in English:
An Interview with Ryszard Kapuscinski: Writing about Suffering (The Journal of the International Institute, Fall 1998)
Wolfe: What did the Poles know about Africa?
Kapuscinski: They had very limited knowledge. This was very typical of the European understanding of Africa, which is full of stereotypes and biases. Nevertheless, there was a certain fascination with Africa. Maybe it has something to do with our literature: we have Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, for example, and Conrad is considered in Poland as a Polish writer. The similarity between Africa and Poland – and this is an argument I have always had with people in Africa – is that we were also a colonized country. We were a colony for 130 years. We lost independence at the end of the 18th century, and only regained it in 1918, after the First World War. We were divided between three colonial powers – Russia, Prussia, and Austria. There’s a certain similarity of experience. I’ve often quarreled with African friends about this. I’ve asked, „How long were you colonized?” „Eighty years,” they’ve answered, and I’ve responded, „We were colonized 50 years longer, so what can you say about colonialism? I’ll tell you what colonial experience is.” And they’re shocked. But though there is a similarity of experience, the common people are not conscious of this.