An Episode in the History of Free Trade


In September 1847, a Free Trade Congress was held in Brussels. Both James Wilson, founding editor of the business weekly, The Economist, and Karl Marx were in attendance. They had both prepared speeches to be delivered there, but only one was allotted the time to do so. Photographs of two documents, a page from The Northern Star newspaper of October 9, 1847, which contains a report of this event (written by Frederick Engels) and a page from a book published on the 150th anniversary of The Economist in 1993, celebrating the history of this publication, which recounts the founding editor’s delivery of his speech at the Free Trade Congress in Brussels are presented.

Showing photographs of these two documents (one found at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam and the other simply ordered from an online bookstore) describing the same event from very different places in both space and time produces a space in which a certain kind of disappearance takes place.


Photomontage (60 x 70 cm)