Jaman – Diartgonale Edition #1

Edited Publication

This issue’s core project “JAMAN” explores the reciprocal fascination between the German colonisers and the sultan of Foumban, a city in Cameroon’s Hinterland, around the year 1905. Artist Christian Hanussek (DE) chose the ancient printing technique of engraving to shed light on the processes of self-historisation that sprang from this encounter. Salifou Lindou (CM) collaged his pictorial inventions based on historical photographs that Hanussek found in European archives. The caricatures of Nyemb Popoli (CM), editor of a famous satirical daily in Cameroon, put these historical finds into a contemporary perspective. The three artists chose to display their various points of entry on the virtual stage of their fictitious, comical opera text. Additionally, the cultural anthropologist Michaela Oberhofer (DE) sheds light on the historic voyage of the Sultan’s throne to Berlin. For more than a century already this valuable diplomatic gift has been used for stagings of power.

We explore this topic of cultural appropriation further with contemporary artist Andrew Gilbert’s (UK) dialogue with primitivist artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (DE, 1880 – 1938). Furthermore, Paul Hendrikse’s (NL) associative flow of found imagery sheds light on the troubled love story of the renowned Cameroonian poet Louis-Marie Pouka-M’Bague (CM, 1910 – 1992) with the colonial motherland France. We share Hervé Yamguen’s (CM) pleasure in observing the transformation of his Picasso-inspired drawings in the hands of traditional Cameroonian craftspeople (beading and woodcarving).

Cultural anthropologist Anschaire Aveved (CM) has looked into the history of a statue from Cameroon that radically changed its meaning while travelling the world and even became sacred. Artist Dunja Herzog (CH) challenged the creativity of some bronze casters in Foumban that cater to the exoticist taste of tourist clients there. We document the surprising deal of artisan Garba Tanko (CM) with sculptor Maarten Vanden Eynde (BE): a brand-new Stihl chain saw for its exact copy in ebony wood. Cameroon’s most famous artist Pascale Marthine Tayou (CM), shows two of his sculptures made from Venetian crystal that recall ritual statues with their magic add-ons and majestic posture.

A conversation with Matthias de Groof (BE), Marjolijn Dijkman (NL), and Nav Haq (UK) about current appropriations of science fiction in African settings and/or for African audiences closes this issue. We link a recent exhibition on the subject matter at Arnolfini in Bristol, UK, to the futurist filmmaking of Jean Pierre Bekolo (CM). We thus conclude our timeline on a historical exchange, appropriation, and hybridisation that started in 1905 in the year 2025.

Three years of discussions, artistic residencies, exhibitions, and collaborations between Cameroonian and European artists have led to a series of contemporary art magazines. Each edition is headed by co-productions of Cameroonian and Dutch / German / Belgian artists and explores a specific subject matter in depth. The special editions are hosted by DiARTgonale, a Cameroonian artist journal initiated by Achille K Komguem.

The bilingual journals (FR/EN) are distributed as printed matter throughout Cameroon and Europe and as digital downloads subsequently throughout 2012 and 2013.


JAMAN – DiARTgonale Special Edition #1 (2012)
Contributors: Christian Hanussek (DE), Salifou Lindou (CM), Nyemb Popoli (CM), Michaela Oberhofer (DE), Achille K Komguem (CM), Andrew Gilbert (UK), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (DE, 1880 – 1938), Paul Hendrikse (NL), Louis-Marie Pouka-M’Bague (CM, 1910 – 1992), Anschaire Aveved (CM), Hervé Yamguen (CM), Dunja Herzog (CH), Garba Tanko (CM), Maarten Vanden Eynde (BE), Pascale Marthine Tayou (CM), Matthias de Groof (BE), Marjolijn Dijkman (NL), Nav Haq (UK), Annette Schemmel (DE), Jean Pierre Bekolo (CM)
Editors: Marjolijn Dijkman (NL) and Annette Schemmel (DE)
Production: Annette Schemmel, Marjolijn Dijkman, Amélie Bouvier
Designer: Indre Klimaite (LT)
Support: Arts Collaboratory (NL), Stroom (NL), IFA (DE)