This chapter analyzes the uneasy mixture of colonial violence and anxiety in the creation of interracial sexual dangers in the Belgian Congo. It chronicles the surveillance of interracial sex (including sexual violence) through ambiguous strategies combining legal measures and policing tools (both in the Congo and at the imperial level), and also the transgression of these measures by various actors. The chapter addresses the specificities of the Belgian–Congolese context and the ways in which an insatiable quest for bourgeois exemplarity, paradoxically rooted in the violent history of early colonial rule, shaped an enduring regime of moral surveillance of interracial sexual encounters. It also shows that colonial legal and judicial interventions related to interracial sexuality operated in close interaction with the experiences, contestations, and (instrumental) investments of African people, developing along evolving political and coercive lines that shaped a distinctive racialized economy of sexuality and of the sensitivities that surrounded it.
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Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group