Alice Harris

Alice Seely Harris

Alice (Seeley) Harris (1870–1970) was an English missionary and an early documentary photographer.  At 19 , Alice entered the Civil Service and was later appointed to the Accountant General’s office in GPO London which she later left to enter Doric Lodge, the RBMU’s (Region Beyond Missionary Union, previously the Congo Balolo Mission) Missionary Training College and in 1894, met her future husband John Harris with whom she would have four children.

Finally in 1897, after seven years of trying, Alice was accepted to go out to the Congo Free State. Alice was appalled and saddened at what she witnessed in the so-called Congo Free State and began campaigning for the human rights of the Congolese natives to be recognized.

It would be Alice’s  photography that helped  expose the human rights abuses in the Congo Free State under the regime of Leopold II, King of the Belgians whose  method of coercion included whipping, hostage-taking, rape and murder, and burning of gardens and villages.

Read more of Alice at Autograph ABP and listen to an interview with Alice in her later years.



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