In this collaborative project with Yana Wernicke we address the history and repercussions of the life of German botanist and gardener Georg August Zenker.
Zenker is said to have lived in polygamy with several African women during his years of colonial service in the German colony ”Kamerun“. He later settled down as a private citizen in a remote settlement in the Cameroonian jungle by the name of Bipindi which is still home to his descendants. Zenker can today be regarded as an exceptional figure of German colonialism who regularly alternated between participating and outright refusing to partake in colonial practices.
We aim to tell Zenker’s story with all its contradictions in the hope of adding complexity to the discussion around German colonialism. We want to draw attention to the fact that there still exist palpable repercussions of German colonialism and make visible the story of Zenker’s descendants who inherited not only his name but a double (or rather split) identity and who today live with the difficulty of reconciling their German and Cameroonian roots.
DUMMY-Magazin #61: Schwarz-Weiss
Interview on Bird in Flight [Russian]