One morning in September 1890, a Belgian surveyor, commissioned by his King to dismantle Africa, left Leopoldville for the North. With the authority of the stars and a few scholarly instruments, Pierre Claes’ mission was to materialize, in the wilderness, the exact course of what Europe then called “progress”. On board the Fleur de Bruges, gliding down the Congo River, he is accompanied by Bantu workers and Xi Xiao, a Chinese master tattooist, an executioner specialising in the art of human cutting. He sees the future in everything: Xi Xiao knows what a work of abomination colonization is, and he knows that he will love the surveyor of love. Ténèbres is the story of a mutilation. Kawczak presents an incredible adventure novel full of eroticism, an opera of desire and pain with magical realism, which from Northern Europe to the heart of Africa flows like a tear of blood on the face of History.