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This omissum was published in February 2020 by members of Mondotheque and Algolit. Mondotheque worked between 2013 and 2016 on unravelling the many implications of a statement that routinely compared the Mundaneum to "Google on paper". Algolit is a group of artists experimenting with F/LOSS text and code that organised the exhibition Data Workers at the Mundaneum in March 2019 using texts of Otlet and the Mundaneum archive. The omissum responds to the generous critiques of Julie Boschat Thorez and Elodie Mugrefya and the growing unease with the problematic silences occuring in both projects.
Further reading: https://diversions.constantvzw.org/wiki/index.php?title=Resources
Further reading: <https://diversions.constantvzw.org/wiki/index.php?title=Resources>
This text is available for comments and reuse on: https://gitlab.constantvzw.org/diversions/paul-otlet-an-omissum
This text is available for comments and reuse on: <https://gitlab.constantvzw.org/diversions/paul-otlet-an-omissum>
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[^1]: Omissum is a term invented in a meeting that took place in Brussels in October 2019. It describes what we felt needed to happen in response to the omissions in our work with/around Otlet and our silence about how racism is part of his oeuvre. The term 'erratum' was proposed at first, but we realised we needed a different way to talk about what was being missed out on. Rather than using a word that would suggest an isolated mistake that needs to be corrected, we consider this problem to be a systemic issue that we need to engage with; it is a process. We invite you to adapt and rewrite this omissum and insert it into other publications that might need it.
[^2]: In 1921, Paul Otlet wrote to civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois to propose himself as the local sponsor for the organization of the second Pan-African Congress in Brussels. We can credit Otlet with offering a ground for a movement that had as its objectives the end of colonial rule and the recognition of the rights of African people, which exposed him to the hostility of the conservative parts of society and press. At the same time, his position on the topic remained coherent with the one described in "L'Afrique aux noirs": civilized European blacks were the most fit to direct the process, in coordination with benevolent colonizing countries, such as Belgium. Ironically, the only accepted resolution at the end of the Congress was Otlet's own proposal to start a Pan-African section of the Palais Mondial. The correspondence between Du Bois and Otlet and the documentation of the Pan-African Congress can be accessed at: https://credo.library.umass.edu/view/collection/mums312
[^2]: In 1921, Paul Otlet wrote to civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois to propose himself as the local sponsor for the organization of the second Pan-African Congress in Brussels. We can credit Otlet with offering a ground for a movement that had as its objectives the end of colonial rule and the recognition of the rights of African people, which exposed him to the hostility of the conservative parts of society and press. At the same time, his position on the topic remained coherent with the one described in "L'Afrique aux noirs": civilized European blacks were the most fit to direct the process, in coordination with benevolent colonizing countries, such as Belgium. Ironically, the only accepted resolution at the end of the Congress was Otlet's own proposal to start a Pan-African section of the Palais Mondial. The correspondence between Du Bois and Otlet and the documentation of the Pan-African Congress can be accessed at: <https://credo.library.umass.edu/view/collection/mums312>
[^3]: Elodie Mugrefya, 'Omission and validation'. in: DiVersions v1. Constant, Brussels, 2019. https://diversions.constantvzw.org/wiki/index.php?title=Afrique_aux_noirs#afrique-aux-noirs-fr
[^3]: Elodie Mugrefya, 'Omission and validation'. in: DiVersions v1. Constant, Brussels, 2019. <https://diversions.constantvzw.org/wiki/index.php?title=Afrique_aux_noirs#afrique-aux-noirs-fr>
[^4]: Mugrefya, 2019
[^5]: See for example "Les Noirs et la Société des Nations", published in "La Patrie Belge" in 1919, in which Otlet describes king Albert as a "fervent protagonist of black people's emancipation", and Belgium as the responsible for the material and moral civilization of Congo. https://credo.library.umass.edu/images/resize/display/mums312-b015-i002-001.png
[^5]: See for example "Les Noirs et la Société des Nations", published in "La Patrie Belge" in 1919, in which Otlet describes king Albert as a "fervent protagonist of black people's emancipation", and Belgium as the responsible for the material and moral civilization of Congo. <https://credo.library.umass.edu/images/resize/display/mums312-b015-i002-001.png>
[^6]: Alex Wright, Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age; Oxford University Press, New York, 2014
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