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ZENKER – the book by photographers Yana Wernicke and Jonas Feige retrace the life of German gardener and botanist Georg August Zenker in Cameroon

In 1889, Georg August Zenker, a gardener and botanist from Leipzig, took charge of the Jaunde research station in the German colony of Cameroon. Following a six-year tenure, Zenker was surprisingly relieved of his duties. He was said to be leading a polygamous life at the station with several African women, some of whom had given birth to his children. We read on Wikipedia : “Far away from European controlling structures, Zenker established a network of personal relationships based on polygyny from which five children were born over the course of the following years. In November 1891, Max-Felix Zenker was born, whose mother was Embolo, the daughter of Chief Tschungi Mballa Ngono. A woman from Dahomé gave birth to Curt Julius and Hans Zenker. His third wife during this time was Ngoso, the daughter of Esono Ela’s brother, Onambele Ela.”

Zenker left the country only to return soon afterwards as a private citizen. He settled with his family (a woman from Dahomé and five children) deep in the Cameroon jungle in Bipindi where he built Bipindihof, a German colonial-style house as well as vast cocoa, rubber and banana plantations.

The mainstay of his livelihood consisted in collecting copious botanical and zoological specimens as well as ethnographic objects for German museums. Zenker’s thoughts and actions were heavily influenced by the colonial mindset. But on a number of occasions, he clearly opposed the colonialist and militaristic practices of his superiors and other German countrymen.

Despite not having a formal education in natural sciences, Zenker made a number of contributions in the fields of botany and zoology. He sent 5,000 plant specimens to Germany alone. Among the main recipients of his objects were the Zoological Museum of the Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin, the Botanical Central Bureau for the German Colonies, and the Ethnological Museum. Since he was also a painter and illustrator, he often included color sketches of his exhibits. When the German Schutztruppe retreated to the neighboring country of Rio Muni in the beginning of 1916, Zenker was assigned the task of destroying the bridge over the Lokundje river after they had crossed it. He refused to do so and was the only German to be tolerated in Cameroon after the end of the war for this reason.

He died in 1922 and was buried on the grounds of his Bipindihof. Zenker’s descendants live widely dispersed in Cameroon and Europe today, but most of them still regard the now crumbling Bipindihof as the cradle of the family. For their project, photographers Yana Wernicke and Jonas Feige traveled to the present-day Republic of Cameroon several times in order to retrace Zenker’s life there and portray his descendants.


About – Kamerun. Due to the establishment of trading posts by Hamburg-based trading company Woermannn in 1868 at the mouth of the Wouri River, German influence in Cameroon grew stronger and stronger. On 14 July, 1884, German Consulate General and Imperial Commissioner, Gustav Nachtigal, signed protection treaties with several headmen of the Duala and other regional leaders, proclaiming the protectorate of Cameroon a German colony. During the First World War, the outnumbered German Schutztruppe was able to resist in Cameroon for two years despite not having sufficient supplies. In 1916, the last garrison in Mora, northern Cameroon, surrendered to the British colonial forces. As stipulated in the Treaty of Versaille from 1919, Cameroon officially became property of the League of Nations, which then granted a mandate for administration to Great Britain and France. This resulted in the division of the country, according to which France received four-fifths. It was not until 1 January, 1960, that French Cameroon – upon holding a referendum and expiration of the UN mandate – gained independence and was renamed the Republic of Cameroon.


About – Yana Wernicke (*1990) and Jonas Feige (*1988) are two photographers residing in Berlin. Both studied photography at Berlin’s Ostkreuz School of Photography and combine artistic and documentary approaches in their photographic work. Their photographs have been exhibited and awarded internationally.


ZENKER – Yana Wernicke and Jonas Feige . With original letters from Georg August Zenker (German/English) and texts by Jonas Feige, Yana Wernicke, Georg August Zenker, Elisabeth Zenker, Jean Michel Zenker, Marie-Thérèse Zenker. Design by Studio Krispin Heé (Krispin Heé, Tim Wetter) . German/ English . 18.5 x 26.6 cm . Hardcover . 268 pages . 164 images . € 68.- . ISBN 78-3-907236-18-5 . Edition Patrick Frey . GoSee :  editionpatrickfrey.com///zenker
20.09.2021 show complete article

 

ZENKER – the book by photographers Yana Wernicke and Jonas Feige retrace the life of German gardener and botanist Georg August Zenker in Cameroon

In 1889, Georg August Zenker, a gardener and botanist from Leipzig, took charge of the Jaunde research station in the German colony of Cameroon. Following a six-year tenure, Zenker was surprisingly relieved of his duties. He was said to be leading a polygamous life at the station with several African women, some of whom had given birth to his children. We read on Wikipedia : “Far away from European controlling structures, Zenker established a network of personal relationships based on polygyny from which five children were born over the course of the following years. In November 1891, Max-Felix Zenker was born, whose mother was Embolo, the daughter of Chief Tschungi Mballa Ngono. A woman from Dahomé gave birth to Curt Julius and Hans Zenker. His third wife during this time was Ngoso, the daughter of Esono Ela’s brother, Onambele Ela.”

Zenker left the country only to return soon afterwards as a private citizen. He settled with his family (a woman from Dahomé and five children) deep in the Cameroon jungle in Bipindi where he built Bipindihof, a German colonial-style house as well as vast cocoa, rubber and banana plantations.

The mainstay of his livelihood consisted in collecting copious botanical and zoological specimens as well as ethnographic objects for German museums. Zenker’s thoughts and actions were heavily influenced by the colonial mindset. But on a number of occasions, he clearly opposed the colonialist and militaristic practices of his superiors and other German countrymen.

Despite not having a formal education in natural sciences, Zenker made a number of contributions in the fields of botany and zoology. He sent 5,000 plant specimens to Germany alone. Among the main recipients of his objects were the Zoological Museum of the Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin, the Botanical Central Bureau for the German Colonies, and the Ethnological Museum. Since he was also a painter and illustrator, he often included color sketches of his exhibits. When the German Schutztruppe retreated to the neighboring country of Rio Muni in the beginning of 1916, Zenker was assigned the task of destroying the bridge over the Lokundje river after they had crossed it. He refused to do so and was the only German to be tolerated in Cameroon after the end of the war for this reason.

He died in 1922 and was buried on the grounds of his Bipindihof. Zenker’s descendants live widely dispersed in Cameroon and Europe today, but most of them still regard the now crumbling Bipindihof as the cradle of the family. For their project, photographers Yana Wernicke and Jonas Feige traveled to the present-day Republic of Cameroon several times in order to retrace Zenker’s life there and portray his descendants.


About – Kamerun. Due to the establishment of trading posts by Hamburg-based trading company Woermannn in 1868 at the mouth of the Wouri River, German influence in Cameroon grew stronger and stronger. On 14 July, 1884, German Consulate General and Imperial Commissioner, Gustav Nachtigal, signed protection treaties with several headmen of the Duala and other regional leaders, proclaiming the protectorate of Cameroon a German colony. During the First World War, the outnumbered German Schutztruppe was able to resist in Cameroon for two years despite not having sufficient supplies. In 1916, the last garrison in Mora, northern Cameroon, surrendered to the British colonial forces. As stipulated in the Treaty of Versaille from 1919, Cameroon officially became property of the League of Nations, which then granted a mandate for administration to Great Britain and France. This resulted in the division of the country, according to which France received four-fifths. It was not until 1 January, 1960, that French Cameroon – upon holding a referendum and expiration of the UN mandate – gained independence and was renamed the Republic of Cameroon.


About – Yana Wernicke (*1990) and Jonas Feige (*1988) are two photographers residing in Berlin. Both studied photography at Berlin’s Ostkreuz School of Photography and combine artistic and documentary approaches in their photographic work. Their photographs have been exhibited and awarded internationally.


ZENKER – Yana Wernicke and Jonas Feige . With original letters from Georg August Zenker (German/English) and texts by Jonas Feige, Yana Wernicke, Georg August Zenker, Elisabeth Zenker, Jean Michel Zenker, Marie-Thérèse Zenker. Design by Studio Krispin Heé (Krispin Heé, Tim Wetter) . German/ English . 18.5 x 26.6 cm . Hardcover . 268 pages . 164 images . € 68.- . ISBN 78-3-907236-18-5 . Edition Patrick Frey . GoSee :  editionpatrickfrey.com///zenker
20.09.2021 show complete article

 

featured by Studio Thom Pfister : THOM PFISTER – SWISS GRAPHIC DESIGN celebrates the work of creative directors & curators on 500 pages and presents the wonderful versatility and creative power of the designer (Sturm & Drang Publishing)

Thom Pfister is currently one of the most creative graphic designers in Europe. His works are of incredible beauty, cleverly staged and always with a reference to the world of art or fashion. International brands seek the signature of the Swiss designer,” VOGUE describes the Creative Director. He has been successful in branding and advertising for well-known brands for over 25 years, has helped to coin the term Swiss Graphic Design, has brought cultural workers together and inspired them to create new works. And now a book has been published with his most exciting work.

In a personal selection, the book SWISS GRAPHIC DESIGN is dedicated to the works that emerged from these encounters between photography, illustration and art. It shows the legendary style of the designer, in constant engagement with fashion and art, in a memorable way. The book is available directly from publishing house Sturm & Drang.

Here is an excerpt : “His works are the product of honesty and a concentrated narrative force. At times direct and forceful, at others subtle and delicate. Always with a nuanced narrative which itself seeks a correspondingly multilayered interpretation. Readers who engage with the work and dive below its surface will likely find a meaningfulness that can be penetrating. This only works because Thom devotes himself to its design with such enthusiasm, curiosity and passion, examining the images’ contents with great care and attentiveness. Here, the imperfect is sought out, staged and becomes the stylistic device. Even though it may seem otherwise, it is rare that something is left to coincidence. Precisely this aesthetic of imperfection can be an irritant here and there. Thom layers and overlays visual elements designed using various techniques with masterly confidence. This striking style and powerful imagery distinguish him both as a graphic designer as well as an artist.”

For several months now, Thom has operated STUDIO THOM PFISTER in Bern together with Ursula Rytz, former ComMix Managing Director. The brand and marketing communication agency for branding, advertising, digital and design develops unique, holistic experiences. Before the merger with ComMix, Thom Pfister worked for renowned Swiss and international agencies including Tomato, McCann-Erickson, Studio Achermann, Komet, Contexta, and Branders.

On his website, you can see the LEVI’S image campaign to promote Levi’s Stores. Making a big splash are his campaigns for the brand ‘Melanie JeanRichard – Mediterranean Flowers’.

THOM PFISTER – SWISS GRAPHIC DESIGN
First edition 2021, 600 copies, softcover, Munken Pure, 300 gm2, 4 pages with 2 flaps
240 x 330 mm 496 pages, RecyStar Nature, 80 gm2
Design and editing by Thom Pfister
ISBN 978-3-906822-41-9, SFr. 68.00
15.09.2021 show complete article