A search of traces in Central Africa
In his mother’s attic Andréas Lang discovered a diary and historical photos of his great-grandfather, who served from 1909 to 1914 in the so-called protection force of the German colony of Cameroon. These objects were the beginning of a search for traces that brought the photographer Lang to the original locations of his great-grandfather’s colonial past in Chad, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the border region of the present-day Republic of the Congo. His photographs and video installations represent an intensive reflection on the legacies of German colonial history in Africa.
In his works Andréas Lang explores long since forgotten places and seeks out the phantoms of colonial geography. He charts a landscape that oscillates between reality and fiction, longing and failure. In his artistic archaeology of the imagined the past and the present are equally alive. His subtle compositions confront current and historical materials with each other, question the different forms of adaptation and loss, and constantly re-examine the position of his own artistic perspective.
from the introduction text of the exhibition Kamerun and Kongo. A search of traces and Phantom Geography at Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin 2016/2017
The picture is an installation made in collaboration with the Cameroonian artist and scupltor Dieudonné Fokou. He built a copy of the German MG 08 composed of scrap metal. The MG 08 was used by all colonial powers to surpress rebellions and uprises. With 500 rounds per minute it had a devastating effect.