Saturday, 22 April 2017

dschungel book

I came across this curiosity at the local recycling centre, a paper back, coffee table format (Bilderband) travelogue of one Jürgen Hansen’s adventures across the Dark Continent. It was a somewhat paternalistic portrait of colonial African from 1952 (possibly daring for the first time, however, to look at Africa with an eye towards reconciliation, having lost its toehold on the continent), published in Hamburg, but contained the most amazing, vibrant little picture-postcard prints pasted on the pages.
It turns out that this promotional item, sponsored by the Sanella brand and the West German Margarine Union, was offered as the text only and in order to complete the album, one needed to acquire one hundred little lithographs—presumably as a bonus with a package of margarine. This volume was complete (two cards had come loose over the years) but they were all there and in pretty good condition, and it was a pleasure to look through and imagine how (most likely) a house wife doing the shopping was eagerly waiting for the next instalment to hit the shelves and paste the cards in her book that taught her all about Africa.  Click on any image for a larger picture. The shadows are less obvious then as well.