Photographs taken by Judge Emile E.O. Gorlia during five journeys through the Belgian Congo and two vacation leaves, one in Belgium and one in the Canaries Islands, 1909-1928 and at the World Exposition in Brussels (1958). The collection dates from 1909-1958. His first mission was from January 1910 to January 1912; the second, from February 1915 to March 1917; the third, from December 1917 to April 1920; the fourth, from November 1920 to February 1923 and, the fifth, from March 1926 to December 1928. For his first four missions at Lusambo in the Kasai province, district of Sankuru, Emile Gorlia was acting as an alternate to the public officer at one of the seven tribunals of first instance. During his fifth and final mission, he was promoted as president of the Court at Albertville in the ditrict of Katanga. Judge E.O. Gorlia was a keen amateur photographer with the advantage of not only traveling extensively around the state but also with the privilege of being able to afford the time and money to produce a prolific number of images. His images illustrate with great detail the full experience of a government official in mission in the Belgian Congo, starting in Antwerp at the pier of this Belgian harbor and taking up his duties at Lusambo, an administrative town in the hearth of th Belgian congo. The majority of images are of the following Belgian Congo districts, Lower Congo, Kassai, Sankuru, and Katanga. They include the cities of Banana, Boma, Matadi, Leopoldville (now Kinshasa), Lusambo, Luebo, Dilolo, Albertville (now Kalemie) in the Belgian Congo, Brazzaville in the French Equatorial africa, Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Tabora and Kigoma in tanganyika, Dakar in Senegal, Conakry in Guinea, Freetown in Sierra Leone, Port Said in Egypt and finally Casablanca in Morocco. There are also images of villages scenes and portraits of the Tetela, Songye, Luba, Kanioka, Lunda, Chokwe, Pende, Bangala and Kuba. Also included are images of the natural environment as the Congo river, the Kasai and Sankuru rivers, the banks of Lake Tanganyika and the savanna-woodland of the western part of the Katanga district as well as as the south part of the Sankuru region.
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection digitized and available online. Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
Emile Gorlia Photographs, EEPA 1977-001, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art
National Museum of African Art
P.O. Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012