chapter  16
18 Pages

Colonization or Globalization? Ernst Udet’s Account of East Africa from 1932

WithNina Berman

This chapter discusses a German account of East Africa which dates from the 1930s with a few general comments about the status of scholarship on images of Africa within the discipline of German literary studies. While French and English Departments took up the question of colonialism during and after the period of decolonization, critics based in German Departments have only relatively and in small numbers joined the group of postcolonial scholars. The chapter suggests that the text and the photographs are reflective of the lingering German dream to recapture a colonial empire. The many photographs taken of Africans during Ernst Udet's expedition also diverge from other portrayals of African peoples as they were known especially from ethnographic photography. Many of the photographs focus on cultural contact: they show Africans and Germans, Africans and airplanes, animals and airplanes, or landscapes and airplanes.