William Kentridge’s ‘The Head and the Load’ honors nearly two million Africans in Great War — Quartz


It can be difficult to comprehend how easily Africa has been erased from world history. One powerful example is its involvement in World War I, which has been virtually forgotten, despite the fact that an estimated 2 million Africans were pulled into the conflict as soldiers, workers, and personnel both in Europe and in Africa, according to historians.

The “Great War” was prompted by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, 104 years ago today (June 28) and ended 100 years ago this November. Most people know the basics: that the war lasted four years, was largely fought between European powers, saw the death of over 16 million people, and ultimately lead to the rise of Adolf Hitler and eventually, World War II.

But what is rarely ever discussed is the deployment of hundreds and…

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