n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Jenseits der Kinematographie des Jägers : Schomburgk, Rouch und Soyinka

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



This paper draws a history of the dialectic between filming and killing, with special focus on Africa. It starts with the chronophotographic gun of Marey, which first linked photography to hunting. The violence of that dialectic nourished the relationship of ethnography to the African subject at the beginning of the 20th century, mainly in the films of Hans Schomburgk. On the background of colonialism, Schomburgk's filmmaking became murderous. Ethnography moved beyond such a cinematography through the participative camera of Jean Rouch, although even Rouch's cinematography did not fully accept the subjectivity of the African hunter. The point is made that the African subject cannot start making films without fulfilling a medial break from the dialectical relationship of filming and killing. This paper examines this through the use of performance as a means to represent his experience, going from the theatrical praxis of Wole Soyinka, which is based on a deep aesthetic of hunting.

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