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2021_Website Launch

May 27th 2021 this website was launched during the symposium ‘Undisciplining Photography‘, organised by the MA Photography & Society of the Royal Academy of Art with the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, and the Research Centre for Material Culture in Leiden. A full recording of the live broadcast of the launch can be found here.

The launch was moderated by Bridging Humanities editor Laurens Nijzink, who also positioned the publication within the context of the platform (from 9:40). Martijn van den Broek, head of collections at the Nederlands Fotomuseum introduced the PJU collection (from 1:50). Dr. George Mahashe shared some first thoughts in relation to this publication (from 38:20), which will be further elaborated upon in a peer review that is published once available.

Writer and researcher Esther Aminata Kamara read a fictional story written (from 24:00) in respons to photographs produced in Sierra Leone in 1934 after thoughtfully positioning herself as well as Paul Julien as writers. Below is the full text of Esther’s contribution. Another iteration of the story is part of a film made for an exhibition in the 2021 Noorderlicht Photo Festival titled “The Makeable Mind”. That film, titled “Real Time” can be seen here. Under Esther’s contribution to the website you will find the goodbye letter to Dr. Julien I read during the website launch (from 13:30).

Introduction

The story I will share with you today has us witnessing the arrival of Paul Julien in a village in Sierra Leone. His arrival is seen from the eyes of Natu- a fictional character I dreamt up after months of interacting with Julien’s work.

In this story, the acts of seeing, witnessing, exposing, and capturing affect how the story develops. It’s… perhaps very enticing to reclaim some form of agency by changing perspectives, by turning the seen into the seer. But my reasons for doing so is not to expose some perversion of voyeurism. No, I use this format to reveal the fictionality of my narration.

And with that, try to expose this fictionality in Julien’s work.

As a writer I use sense data, combine it with introspection and a good dose of magic to create a story. In this case, I used data from Julien’s works, my own experiences of being in Sierra Leone/ a Sierra Leonean, and the knowledge I’ve gained through my upbringing as the building blocks of this story. What I want to expose is my understanding of authorship. The various- as I call them- corrupting influences that, no matter how objective I try to be, always soil my work.

This. Is what I see as my corrupting influences.

Layer one: macro-contexts
The layer of growing up in postcoloniality. Of living in the information age. Where one can travel to other continent with mere clicks and keyboard tabs.

Layer two: macro-micro contexts
Of being a second-generation Dutch woman with an African migration background, of being an Amsterdam youth, a woman of colour, of consuming thousands of books. This the layer of my educational background.

Layer three:  micro contexts
Of being a writer, a researcher, my millions of thoughts and interactions. Of being tired to always be so binary: of being victim, or being perpetrator. Now, I believe that the same can be said for Paul Julien, that his influences corrupted his work as well. Therefore, I identify the following corrupting influences of Paul Julien.

Layer one: of time
Of living during an era of missionary works, of western scientific rationality, of blood-research and skull measurements, of a past world war and another war to come.

Layer two: of spirit
Of colonialism, of hand-drawn maps, of going where no ‘man’ has gone before, of illuminating the dark continent, of each step taken counting as one step forwards.

And finally:
The layer of being a man, his family past, his beliefs and convictions, his experiences, and thoughts, all forming the mind and hand which guide his pen and camera, his footsteps. And when he walks, fuelled by admiration, and curiosity, and righteousness, he creates a new narrative – a narrative that we still have access to today.

As authors, such corrupting influences affect how we create. But by exposing this process I hope to reveal some of the workings of power and the narrative. And allow us to be critical towards the teller, and the told. Who am I to tell the story of the Bundu girl in the picture? Who am I to name the nameless? Who do I want the people in Julien’s works to be?

All I can give you- ever, is fiction.

Story 1: Exposure

Part I- Looking/ Seeing

It was as if the crickets announced his arrival. As if his inner spirits called upon them to make his anthem. To let us villagers know that his world was made of the same materials as ours, so that he could inhabit it.

I knew his convoy was snaking through the bush. My brother had seen them coming from afar when he went to wash in the boy’s stream. He ran- this boy was always running- as fast as his spindly legs could take him. His eyes wide with feverish excitement, chest heaving as he drew breath.

“I saw him.”

My hard face betrayed no shared anticipation.

“Natu,” he shook my shoulder, “I saw him. This man must be a devil chief. Natu!”I pushed his hand off my shoulder and sucked my teeth.

Lef me Sorie, I am thinking.” But even this could not dull the shimmer in his being.

“Who cares about thinking, you need to see Natu, what they say is a lie, he is not white at all! He is without skin.”

He took a dramatic pause to let that sink in, and for a second, I did envision a skinless devil. How his blood pumped through his exposed arteries, his gums slimy and moist like that of a snail. But then I straightened my back and averted my gaze.

“Sorie, I don’t have time for your stupid lies. And look at how dirty you are – you just washed! Now lef me.”

Sorie was always up to no good. Although he was only three rains my junior, it was as if his spirit wanted to remain playful forever. Sorie knew all the hiding spots, the mataodo I so dreaded using behind which he could hide and listen in on the elder’s conversation. The long branch of the mango tree where he could watch the wives quarrel, and the bush where the snake spirit dwelled, not far from the cooking huts, where he could sneak into the pots and steal goat meat without being seen. When he was caught the aunties would beat him with sticks, but never with full intensity, and after these beatings he was almost immediately ready for his next stupidity.

I used to love his tricks, but lately his presence stung like a mosquito I couldn’t swat. Like his energy just made me angry. His tirelessness made me tired. His gossiping (sometimes real kongosa, sometimes boy fantasies) was childish- I had to stand above it. If I ever wanted to become a respected Sampa Baromé I would have to leave such stupidities behind. So, when he came running to me telling me about this skinless devil chief, I envisioned myself as the most impressive dancer this village had ever produced. My legs shaking awake the spirits that lay dormant in the soil and rivers, eyes filled with admiration as I never stopped to catch my breath. It could be any moment now that they collected us for the Sandé, and that I would become a real woman, and no one would steal my chance of becoming the next Sampa Baromé. The other girls all envied my body, whispering that I somehow cheated because I already knew so many steps. Jealous kongosa.

Part II- Seeing/ taking

“You should stand to greet,” said my older brother as he slowly approached me. Ever since he became an initiate, he wouldn’t look at me straight. Even now, he acted as if the mud’s walls I was leaning against were more interesting than my face. But I knew what his slanted gaze meant. Don’t hide in plain sight, it’s disgraceful. Then he turned away, paused for another second, and walked towards the crowd that had gathered near the meeting square. I closed my eyes, let the sound of the crickets envelop my being, tuned in to the cooling dusk air, trying to block out the excited buzzing of the villagers. When I opened my eyes, I saw my older brother looking back at me, directly this time.

**Suckteeth**

I sucked my teeth and dragged my feet. What a pain.

When the first carriers in the convoy arrived something immediately changed. The villagers were whispering. Confusion. Is he a chief, or a king? No, he is a doc-tor. Do doc-tors move like chiefs? No, he is a white doc-tor. Oooh, ok

People straightened their spine, eyes cast downwards respectfully. Sideway glances trying to absorb everything about the approaching visitor.

I couldn’t see a thing, the backs of older men and women obscuring my view. Sorie, the annoying bug,  stood next to me, desperately trying to get a good look.

“Natu,” he whined.

“I can’t see! Lift me up.”

“Sorie, no! What are you thinking!” I hissed.

And then Sorie was gone. I tried to look for him without being obvious and spotted him behind the mataodo. The white of his eyes flickered in the darkening light. Then, a shudder in the crowd. Nobody was looking downwards anymore, they all stared ahead. And I moved sideways, trying to catch a glimpse- and it was as if all other things became invisible. Like how the moon can sometimes erase the stars. 

His face was aimed right at me. Not skinless, no- like the skin that shows when you fall and scape, naked skin. Like maggots squirming in decomposing flesh. A beautiful destructive force.

— then his eyes grabbed mine. They held me there. Locked, soil gripping, muscles not obeying – his eyes went inside of me, hunter eyes, plotting eyes, eyes that turned my legs into charcoal, unsteady, failing.

Then he smiled, and his mouth broke the spell of his eyes.

Finally my legs obeyed,

I ran.

Part III- Exposing/Capturing

There was something wrong with this man. I did not believe that he was a devil, nor that he was a king. Still, every time I let my mind wonder; my mind fell into these eyes of his. As if his eyes were mouths and he was eating me.

I sat crouched behind our hut, staring at my feet- my dancer’s feet, flat and strong. Nimble.

In the dying light I could only see colours in shades. Dark, darker, darkest. The smell of cooling earth mingled with that of roasting meat. The usual village sounds stronger now that this man had come. The pounding of pepper louder, the friendly chatter friendlier, the movements hurried.

Then, a shuffle nearby, a whisper:

“Natu,”

Sorie really knew all my hiding spots. The annoying bug.

“Sorie, go away!”

“I saw you run.”

I ignored him. Stared at the bush. Darkest.

“They were talking about you.” His voice had the tantalising sweetness of honey. Ready to trap greedy minds.

Now I looked at him. His teeth lighting up in the dark as he grinned his annoying bug-smile.

He continued in his kongosa voice.

“You know how I speak Krio far better than you. Look, this whiteman does not like our food. That is why he brought his own cook. Imagine! Our roast meat is the best – “

“Sorieee -I don’t care! Tell me now, did they really talk about me?”

He shifted.

“Well, so first I thought this man must have a devil voice, but it is high like a young girl. And his Krio is bad bad one, even I can tell- “

I nudged him with my elbow.

“Ok ok ok, he asked if you were a Bundu girl. Then the chief said, “Yes she is, and she is promising.”

Despite my doubt of my brother’s honesty, I couldn’t help but feel pride swell my chest.
“Are you sure? How did you know it was me? It could have been another girl.”

“Look at your hair, nobody wears their hair with your weird style,” he laughed. “He said something like palmtri. Palmtri!”

I pinched his earlobe. He cried out in pain. I wanted him gone but he was enticing me with his stories.

So, I urged him on.

“Why? What does he want?”

Sorie clicked his tongue. “I will only tell you if you admit that I am the best hunter of information. I am the chief of kongosa, the master of knowle-“

“Au! Ok ok ok please release my ear.”

“He has a machine; it is like a juju machine. He uses it to take pikcho. This pikcho takes your spirit and places it in a paper. He wants to take it with him.”

I searched his eyes for lies, but all I could see was the last light of the day fading away in his sockets. Then I looked away. An unknown feeling was slowly creeping over my back, like a snake spreading his venom, and for once, I did not know how to move.

My voice was small, “But I thought he was a doctor. Is this like a doctor machine?”

“Yes, this pichko takes your spirit so that it can travel. And then when it has you, you will never find rest. That is what they said. It’s true! Because the white man does not believe in our Poroh society. That way he will doctor you.”

Silence descended. The background noise of crickets filled my head entirely. Deafening, as if they wanted me to bury my thoughts.

“Sorie.” I whispered. “What should I do?”

It was so dark now that I could not see his face, but I knew that he was gloating.

“Well… if you don’t expose it, nobody can take it. If you don’t show it, nobody can see.”

At first, I did not understand what this trickster meant. But then I gasped with understanding. I pinched his ear, “au, Natu!?” and sucked my teeth. And in my mind, I saw a plan unfolding.

— End of story 1 —

 

 

“Almost everything […] is invented. But it’s not a game. It’s a form.”

Tim O’Brien in The Things They Carried, p.171

“Let me not just tell you all of this but rather allow you to see it for yourself.”

Paul Julien in a radio lecture broadcasted January 26th 1941

May 27th 2020

Dear Dr. Julien,

I am happy to inform you that I have finally found an appropriate and comprehensive mode of presentation, a Good Form so to speak, in which to present the activation of your legacy. Before I introduce you to it, there are two nagging questions that kept popping up as I developed this form. What did Good Form mean to you? And by extension which Truth did you present to your Dutch audiences? 

As I see it, Tim O’Brien’s use of the words “Good Form” and “Truth” in his novel ‘The Things They Carried’ (1990) are important. O’Brien (1946) is an American novelist and army veteran who, in this book, writes about some of his experiences as a soldier in the Vietnam War. There are fewer narratives in the book than there are chapters. That is, the same narrative is told several times through different perspectives that overlap and to some extent contradict each other. In the shortest chapter of the book, O’Brien suggests, and I paraphrase him here, ‘that Good Form is about making things present. About looking at things one never looked at. About being able to be brave and about being able to feel, or feel again,’ rather than about being true to what was experienced. He speaks in this regard about two types of truth, Happening Truth and Story Truth. The former being what was experienced by those who took part in an event, the latter what is presented to- and experienced by those encountering a narrative.

I assume you would agree with Timothy O’Brien that these truths exist and are important to distinguish. In your case, for instance, there is a truth in which you spent barely more than three weeks in Sierra Leone and another one in which you were stuck in a rainy camp for two months before embarking on the challenging climb up Mount Kunon

The first truth is the one I deducted from your notebook and the letters written to your parents. The second truth is the one told by you in the first chapter of your book ‘Campfires Along the Equator’

This book is still widely available in second hand book stores in the Netherlands, as I’m sure you can imagine due to the sheer number of editions produced. It cements the Story Truth of ‘an African life’, posited throughout the 1930s in your radio lectures. With increasing amazement I have noted how you maintained this claim over the six decades of your life that followed the initial publication of the book in 1940, including almost forty years in which you no longer set foot on the African continent.

While working with historical photographs in Uganda between 2008 and 2012 I developed an understanding of the limitations of my western-informed reading of pictures.[1] This resulted in the platform History in Progress Uganda and eventually in the PhD dissertation Ebifananyi, a study of photographs in Uganda in and through an artistic practice Where I, for instance, only saw colonial propaganda, it was pointed out to me that the meaning and value of such photographs was not limited to the intention with which they were made. These pictures also included clues about life in Uganda beyond the interest of the colonial context. These clues could only be made meaningful by Ugandan elders. They should be facilitated to share their observations with a younger generation in order to help them make sense of their – our – present. Building on such experiences, I consider your photographs to be capable of initiating wider conversations that could in turn provide alternatives for your framing of the African past and thus contribute to a multi-directional mode of remembrance.

This brings me back to the Good Form I developed, as it aims to contribute to a remembrance that does not take your positioning of the past, presented in the photographs you produced, at face value. This Good Form aims to be critical and inclusive. Critical of the colonial conditions in which you operated; of the privileges; the more and less overt racism present in your language and tangible in a substantial part of the photographs you produced. Inclusive in terms of audience, where your audience was exclusively European, the one I aim to reach out to includes people on and from the African continent. In fact, in the context of the Good Form that I developed, I do not think of them as members of an audience but as visitors to a virtual space. A virtual space constructed through an open ended stream of encounters from which I hope they all benefit. The idea is that the space itself is open to, and will develop further through, responses by visitors.

With this Good Form, I intervene in the state in which the pictures you produced used to be available, illustrating your texts in books and printed media and appearing alongside your stories in television shows. The interventions manifest in simple animations that I think of as Breathing Photographs in which pictures that have a significant formal overlap blend into one another in a tempo that is close to the lower average respiration rate of human breathing. 

Five seconds in, five seconds out. 

In the Breathing Photographs, the scenes that were photographed by you are present but never fixed. The singularity of the individual photographic frame is literally expanded in space and through time. As such, the Breathing Photographs resist the normality that existed with your publications in which it was a matter of course that ‘we’ in Europe could look at ‘them’ in Africa. 

Making these Breathing Photographs expands my understanding of the events, as well as the intensity with which you photographed. An example of this is the Breathing Photograph that consists of twenty four exposures made on August 8th or 9th 1934 in Dambarra. You may recall Paramount Chief Moriba Kargobai organising performances of masks, dancers and musicians for you. Combining the twenty four individual frames also reconstructs a panoramic view of the village.

I am no longer limited to the materiality of photographs for their presence. Instead I can source photographs, reproduce them, share them individually and make them publicly available through a digital, electronic network. Through this network the Breathing Photographs appear on demand on screens owned, perhaps not by everyone, but by many, including Moriba Kargobai’s son Desmond Kargobai, who is the current Paramount Chief of Selenga Chiefdom, including Dambarra village.

This same network makes it possible for me to bring pictures together from different origins, produced by your predecessors, contemporaries or me. They still overlap formally as well as in content with photographs from your legacy. The resultant Breathing Photographs provide insights into historical conventions and make it possible to compare your past to our present.

The Breathing Photographs are presented in a radically networked way. The brief texts that accompany them include connections that can be electronically activated and lead to other related Breathing Photographs. Through these connections, members of the audience are invited to find their own route through your legacy, reframed in Breathing Photographs. This Good Form does not present a linear narrative. Instead stories are given a chance to unfold in the engagement of visitors.

The Breathing Photographs allow me and visitors of the virtual space to reconstruct, to speculate and to develop open ended dialogical yet critical formations of imagination. They are both a research method and a provisional outcome of my research. They allow me to centralise the photographic encounter and its visual output or origin while investigating your legacy and to decentralise spoken and written text. This contrasts quite sharply with the data you collected and the facts, figures and ethnographic observations in which you presented your research.

In the letters I wrote with you as an addressee over the past two years you have a central position. These letters were a Good Form in the sense that they forced me to be inclusive of you and the conventions that informed your actions. They generated, you could say, a Happening Truth. Thanks to this form I could not simply distance myself from your position that I, as elaborated on in previous letters, found and find so deeply troubling. Now that I have this Good Form at my disposal I can say goodbye to you and fully focus on what I can learn from working with the photographs you so skilfully produced. For which, myself and seemingly many of the people who have contributed to the activation of your legacy with me, remain grateful,

With best regards, 

Andrea

 

References

References
1 This resulted in the platform History in Progress Uganda and eventually in the PhD dissertation Ebifananyi, a study of photographs in Uganda in and through an artistic practice
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2021_Diana Story – Familial Reckoning

In June 2020 I received an email from Diana Story. She introduced herself as “an Australian critical heritage studies student, living in the Netherlands,” and distant relative of Paul Julien. Diana’s grandfather, in Dutch referred to as opa, was a cousin of Julien’s who migrated to Australia. In a combination of these capacities she had, as part of her studies, written a response to my letter to Paul Julien that was published in Trigger, the magazine of Fotomuseum Antwerp.[1]Stultiens, A. (2020, December 14). Trigger magazine | A Letter to Dr. Paul Julien. FOMU. … Continue reading She generously shared this response with me and added some questions to it in relation to her interest in trauma-informed heritage practices. I invited Diana to develop her text further for the Reframing PJU platform. That led not only to this publication but also to the embedded research Diana is preparing as a graduation project of her MA studies. I look forward to more contributions from her that will, in time, also be made available.

[2]Illustration (based on a roll film filed as PJU-657) with the  interview quoted below. Personal collection.

Familial Reckoning
by Diana Story

As an emerging museum and heritage researcher, I discovered Andrea Stultiens’ letter to Dr. Paul Julien in Trigger magazine in October of 2020, during research for a critical heritage studies Masters course I am currently undertaking. 

In the aim of transparency from writer to reader, as well as to give context to the gaze through which this response was written, it feels important to disclose some information on my background. Born in Naarm (often referred to by the colonial name of Melbourne), I grew up on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. Raised by parents from diverging socio-economic backgrounds and cultures brought along with it a reality of descending both from persons who profited from and actively participated in British and Dutch colonial regimes, as well as to individuals who were oppressed by colonial systems. In admiration of and solidarity with museum critical race theorist Dr. Porchia Moore’s use of an intersectional approach to outline their personal positionality,[3]Death to Museums. (2020, August 1). Death to Museums August Series: Saturday [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VYXnZvl27Y I will do the same. I am a white Australian cisgender woman of intercultural background in my twenties, a student, artist and heritage practitioner.

After graduating art school I spent the early part of my twenties working at the nation state’s oldest art museum, The National Gallery of Victoria. As a collection of the state of Victoria, the institution’s name reveals its colonial origins. Every now and then I received questions about how it came to contain the word ‘national.’ I would explain that the museum had been founded before Australia’s federation as a nation-state and its name had remained unchanged since. Despite my situationality, as a museum worker upon unceded land and moreover, as a direct descendent of perpetrators of imperial violence, my understanding of coloniality was extremely limited, one-dimensional and almost entirely disconnected with present-day realities. When I thought about coloniality, I remembered my mother’s voice warning me not to look too deeply because I would be horrified as to what I would find. What little knowledge I had about First Nations persons, cultures, contemporary life and history came entirely from white Australians during one school term, aged twelve. When mid-2000s Victorian school curriculum taught that Australia was ‘discovered’ by James Cook, my Opa would scoff and counter proudly that the true ‘discoverer’ was a Dutchman.

In late 2018 I left Australia, driven by a desire to learn about cultures beyond those of which I had grown up within. This movement in location ignited a consciousness towards the presence of material wealth surrounding me that I had never had during my life in Australia. Visiting nation states which had engaged in European expansionism and imperialism, as well as those lesser implicated in such campaigns made me become more curious about how historical actions continue to influence the current day. Could contemporary power and wealth distributions be delineated more transparently if we looked more realistically to the structures our ancestors existed within? Furthermore, being distant from Australia made me begin to question what I knew to be ‘history.’ I wondered about the validity of dominant historical narratives. Who created and entrenched these narratives? What purpose do they serve? Who do they occlude? Who do they empower? During more recent admission to a critical heritage studies course with a syllabus which introduced students to decolonial literature and interventions, as well as Macdonald’s concept of ‘past-presencing,’[4]Macdonald, S. (2013). Memorylands: Heritage and Identity in Europe Today (1st ed.). Routledge. I was encouraged to explore my own personal positionality. By reflecting on the microculture of my own family I hoped to gain some understanding of the legacies of their actions, historically and today, as well as their positionality and the structures they supported and benefited from. It is via this process that I came across Stultiens’ Trigger article. 

As a younger cousin of Paul Julien my Opa had grown up listening to stories of Julien’s travels and ideas of individuals he met. After the Second World War my grandfather migrated to Australia, carrying within him the stories of his cousin and an interest in Julien’s literature that continued into my Opa’s later years. Stultiens begins by introducing Dr. Paul Julien: a chemist with an interest in anthropology. She positions the vast quantities of his photographic work held in current Dutch museum collections alongside his practice of collecting human measurements in the name of scientific research. Stultiens problematises the ethical underpinnings and embodied realisations of Julien’s work, locating intertwining factors and entanglements which may have shaped his motivations and upheld his manner of seeing and acting. 

I felt personally touched by her decision to take present-day accountability for the legacies of Julien’s work. In particular for her desire to counter and disrupt the dominant euro-centric patriarchal gaze embedded within the work and its production, the accompanying narratives and, indubitably, Julien’s personal belief system. As I became more conscious of Julien’s presence on Dutch radio and his role in crafting and disseminating imagerial and ideological perspectives and impressions of those he met during his research trips, the more unsettled I became. I thought about the power dynamics of the colonial structures he moved within which readily stripped an individual’s agency for self-representation to exclusively propagate narratives produced by a white male gaze. By looking to understand the realities of those oppressed by the colonial systems which concurrently gave rise to Julien’s celebrated career, Stultiens’ desire is to build additional meanings the photographs Julien produced from the perspective(s) of the persons who were ‘studied.’

Stultiens included two primary text sources, translated from Dutch to English.[5]These are the quotes referred to: Excerpt from a radio lecture by Paul Julien, broadcasted in 1933 by the KRO [Catholic Radio Broadcaster]: Gbarnga is an economic hub … with a level of activity … Continue reading Reading Julien’s recollections on his research in Liberia disturbed me. What emerged was:

  • A use of power systems and positionality to force submission for ‘research’ purposes.
  • The normalisation of violence as a tool to achieve ‘research’ pursuits.
  • The fact that white persons could select whom they wanted to study, that the personal rights of the persons they wanted to study were unquestionably overridden by their desires.
  • The resistance of the African ‘villagers’ to Julien’s research and the collective action to evacuate the village.
  • Julien viewing the persons he studied as intellectually inferior: ‘they would not understand my true interests…’ Using this to justify his non-transparent practice, Julien asserted that this strategy allowed him to medically assist ‘many people.’


At this point, I remembered something my Opa had once said about Julien, ’he was a good Catholic.’ Thinking about his conscious decision not to explain the context of his research to those whom he studied, it seemed possible that Julien was motivated by and complicit in white-saviour complexes, especially considering the dominant role of the Catholic Church throughout colonised nation states of continental Africa. I came across another text that mentioned his involvement in emergency baptisms. In Catholic catechism, this form of baptism can be performed by lay persons when persons are considered to be at close risk of death.[6]Catholic Church. (n.d.). Catechism of the Catholic Church – IntraText. The Holy See. Retrieved September 8, 2021, from https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P3L.HTM It is important to note that the circumstances in which someone is considered in proximity of death are entirely at the discretion of the individual performing the baptism. 

But what kinds of experiences did the people whom Paul Julien met have? What sorts of feelings did they have about being ‘studied’? How did his presence contribute to the impacts of European colonisation in Africa and their legacies? I thought once again of the fleeing of the entire village in Liberia. My mind returned to something Jennifer Tosch mentioned during the Amsterdam Black Heritage Tour I attended as a part of my coursework. Thinking about Bourdieu’s notion of habitus,[7]Routledge. (2016). Habitus | Social Theory Rewired. Social Theory Rewired. http://routledgesoc.com/category/profile-tags/habitus I remembered how Tosch spoke of unconscious physical reactions during intercultural interactions. She proposed that aesthetics of whiteness can be embedded in the memories of Black persons as symbolic of terror. The possibility emerges that this memory of association may evoke physiological reactions of fear.[8]Tosch, J. (n.d.). Welcome to Black Heritage Tours — Home for Black Heritage Amsterdam Tours in Amsterdam & Black Heritage Tours in New York. Black Heritage Tours in New York & … Continue reading

Tosch also spoke of a white tour attendee who admitted that she subconsciously clutches her bag closer to her when in the presence of Black persons. In the second instance, I wondered about the kinds of messaging about Black persons the tour attendee had absorbed from her family and from the society she was raised within. Stemming from these thoughts I found myself questioning the extent of which Julien’s narratives had influenced my Opa’s ideas on race. Two years after his migration from the Netherlands to Australia he became the stepfather of my grandmother’s first son, whose biological father was Nigerian. In my experience, my Opa was quietly revered in the family setting to have married a woman with a Black son born out-of-wedlock. As I grew to be a teenager I came to learn more stories about the family dynamic. Ethnicity and skin colour was never spoken about until my uncle started school and other children asked him why he was a ‘different’ colour to them. When he returned home, both of my grandparents refused to answer any questions, insisting that my Opa was my uncle’s father and that was all he needed to know. This later led to confusion from my father and their other siblings who also didn’t understand why their brother looked different to them. One evening my grandmother revealed to me that she had hidden my uncle’s ethnicity until my grandfather had proposed. When my Opa discovered that his son was not ‘half-Maltese’ but half-Nigerian, he furiously insisted that my uncle be adopted out. My grandmother refused, they went on to marry and my Opa went on to receive admiration until his death as being of ‘strong moral character.’[9]A point of departure for future research includes the mapping of multi-actor positionalities within my family dynamic and exploring the influence of values and perspectives held by individuals and … Continue reading

I started to think more and more about what drove people like Julien to do the kind of research they did. What kinds of motivations did they have? In the case of Paul Julien, was he driven by the white saviour mentalities perpetuated by Catholic institutions? Through a genuine drive to bring medical aid? From a personal (and privileged) desire to be seen as a kind of cosmopolitan world traveler? I began to reflect on the tacit nature of habitus and the intergenerational transfer of qualities and actions that we might venerate, admonish or exist unaware of. To this end, I began to question the origins of my personal exaltation of the cosmopolitan.

If the subconscious is influenced not only by memories from personal lived experience but also that of our ancestors, it is impossible to imagine the terror residents of Gbarnga may have felt fleeing Julien’s impending visit in 1932.

In her open letter, Stultiens refers to Julien’s repetitive chastising of the persons he studied as ‘rude, primitive or dishonest.’ I admire that she challenged him to think about if his behaviours could be perceived in the same way by those he criticised. It spoke directly to the violent reverberations of eurocentrism.

Reflecting on her experience at a Liberian government press conference, Stultiens wondered about the ongoing influence of colonial legacies in the present-day. Stultiens remembered a government official’s repetition of the phrase ‘you should not be afraid of the health workers because they too get sick,’ during the Ebola pandemic. She further proposes that the very need for such a tactic stems from colonial legacies left by individuals like Julien.

Could similar memories of violence to those held by the people of Gbarnga in 1932 continue to live on in the minds of present-day Liberians?

Stultiens reacted to the problematic nature of Julien’s practice by actively ensuring that she is transparent about her intentions and reasons for research which each person she speaks with. In addition she raises questions of how objects of shared heritage generated under colonial systems should or could be reckoned with in the current day. She also raises issues of offensive language, which made me think of the intervention countering this problematic heritage. Taking the form of an online open source document it asserts that decolonising language should not be seen as something possible to ‘complete’ but rather as an integral element of a continuous ideology to guide heritage practices.[10]Modest, W., & Lelijveld, R. (2017). Words Matter. Research Center for Material Culture. https://www.materialculture.nl/en/publications/words-matter 

How can multiperspectivity be added to such heritage? How can we take accountability for our ancestors’ complacency or active participation in systems of coloniality and white supremacism? How could examples of the problematic nature of Julien’s research help us recognise the remnants of colonial-thought structures that linger in our own minds and imaginings of cultures other than our own? Interdisciplinary activism calls us to move beyond the decolonization of institutions and academia and to ‘decolonize our minds’.[11]Heinrichs, M. (2020, August 9). What Does It Mean To Decolonize Your Mind? Organeyez. https://organeyez.co/blog/what-does-it-mean-to-decolonize-your-mind How might conceptions and behaviours of habitus be actively reprehended before we imbue them into how we treat heritage materialities such as those produced by Julien? Could the documents that Julien produced ever be de-enmeshed from the religious and colonial structures that guided their creation? At the time of writing, my understanding of what heritage ‘object’ might encapsulate is wide in breath. Tangible or intangible in material embodiment, a heritage object is interwoven with qualities of experientiality, transmission, temporal relationships and meaning-making. Thinking about this made me wonder about how the scope and impact of the (im)materiality Julien engendered might be demarcated.

Drawing upon the literature from the course syllabus, the actor-network theory of anthropologist Bruno Latour comes to mind, in which the notion of dynamic constellations are introduced.[12]Latour, B. (2017). On Actor-Network Theory. A Few Clarifications, Plus More Than a Few Complications. Philosophical Literary Journal Logos, 27(1), 173–197. … Continue reading This concept can be used to map the standpoints, meanings and values of multiple actors. In a more object-oriented text, Basu’s concept of ‘in betweenness’ introduces a harmonious concept, proposing that objects exist in an ongoing state of flux that is intersected and influenced by sporadic interchange.[13]Basu, P. (2018). The Inbetweenness of Things: Materializing Mediation and Movement between Worlds. Bloomsbury Academic. It is a term that encompasses multi-dimensionality and suggests constant reshuffling of the coexistence of multiplicities and contradictions. Both Basu and La Tour suggest that tracing the lines between objects and the qualities attached to them by multiple actors could be a useful strategy to identify points of interconnection, divergence and how specific qualities or meanings became attached to objects. Basu exemplifies a singular heritage object and reveals it as holding a multitude of meanings, defiant to one-dimensional definition or categorization. By identifying attributes of this object’s materiality, the agendas assigned to it and its geographic movement, Basu evidences impacts of intercultural exposures upon the inception of materiality and in some cases, its political weaponization. 

In an article dissecting trajectories of museological cataloguing practices, Turner argues that humans and objects exist in affective relationships.[14]Turner, H. (2016). Critical Histories of Museum Catalogues. Museum Anthropology, 39(2), 102–110. https://doi.org/10.1111/muan.12118 Within this context, material heritage is subjected to encoding by its perceiver who projects upon it their individual associations of knowledge, value and meaning. Should habitus and self-projection influence how we determine an object’s meaning, ideas around the affective agency of the material ‘object’ itself also seem important to consider. Hoskins asserts ‘things have agency because they produce effects, because they make us feel happy, angry, fearful, or lustful,’[15]Hoskins, J. (2006). Handbook of Material Culture by Tilley, Christopher Published by SAGE Publications Ltd (2006) Paperback. SAGE Publications Ltd. while Basu proposes that object agency can occur in a spiritual sense. Considering Appadurai’s influential theory that materiality can be explored in terms of life-cycle suggesting that objects might be questioned, as you could a human, on their experiences, trajectories and the actors they have intersected with, the possibilities of just how the objects Julien produced might be engaged with feel vast.[16]Appadurai, A. (1988). The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge University Press.

The realisation of each of these scholarly concepts; their similarities and differences, strengthens the notion that material heritage does not have a fixed state. Its interpretation is largely correspondent to the individual, collective and intercultural associations that are attached consciously and unconsciously to heritage objects and are indubitably temporal, tenuous and deviational. A common thread running throughout each of these texts, as well as the earlier mentioned interdisciplinary activist movements, is the confirmation of the reality of multiperspectivity and the need to shift away from singular narratives. Examining our personal identity in an intersectional sense and critically enquiring as to how this may influence what we attach to heritage materialities seems crucial to any step ahead with work like Julien’s.

[17]Governmental press conference, July 15, 2014, Monrovia, Liberia. Photographed by Andrea Stultiens

References

References
1 Stultiens, A. (2020, December 14). Trigger magazine | A Letter to Dr. Paul Julien. FOMU. https://fomu.be/trigger/articles/a-letter-to-dr-paul-julien-pondering-the-photographic-legacy-of-a-dutch-explorer-of-africa
2 Illustration (based on a roll film filed as PJU-657) with the  interview quoted below. Personal collection.
3 Death to Museums. (2020, August 1). Death to Museums August Series: Saturday [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VYXnZvl27Y
4 Macdonald, S. (2013). Memorylands: Heritage and Identity in Europe Today (1st ed.). Routledge.
5 These are the quotes referred to:

Excerpt from a radio lecture by Paul Julien, broadcasted in 1933 by the KRO [Catholic Radio Broadcaster]:
Gbarnga is an economic hub … with a level of activity one wouldn’t expect in central Liberia. It is the seat of a District Commissioner, Mr. Ross, for whom I carried a letter from the president giving him the assignment to assist my expedition. It had been difficult along the way to get access to the materials needed for my blood research so any assistance was more than welcome. Mr. Ross went to the market with me, asked the people to squat and, helped by an interpreter, addressed them: ‘A powerful witch-man came to the village, a sorcerer, a big medicine man. Tomorrow at 8 am all those suffering from pest, all the lepers, all those with yaws should come to the courthouse to be examined and give blood.’ There was obviously a misunderstanding and the man took me to be a medical doctor. I hurried to whisper in the commissioner’s ear that I would prefer healthy people. The messenger shouted: ‘The healthy should also come, women, children all should come. The whole village should come. Understood?’ A loud applause was the result.
Early the next morning I was busy preparing for the research. Eight am there was nobody there. Nine, nobody, quarter past nine Mr. Ross grew nervous and sent out a group of messengers to force the people, with violence if need be, to the courthouse. It was all in vain. The village was completely deserted. The whole community had fled into the forest, and I may add that they did not return before I left a couple of days later.

&

Excerpt from an interview with Julien published in illustrated magazine Katholieke Illustratie in 1960:
I can imagine that someone who collects blood samples is thought of as a medical doctor. There are of course photographs on which I am taking or analysing these samples while surrounded by a group of Negroes. I always tell them that I have come to see their diseases. They would not understand my true interests and also, I have been able to help many people with medication, injections and dressing of wounds. The authorities of course know better.

6 Catholic Church. (n.d.). Catechism of the Catholic Church – IntraText. The Holy See. Retrieved September 8, 2021, from https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P3L.HTM
7 Routledge. (2016). Habitus | Social Theory Rewired. Social Theory Rewired. http://routledgesoc.com/category/profile-tags/habitus
8 Tosch, J. (n.d.). Welcome to Black Heritage Tours — Home for Black Heritage Amsterdam Tours in Amsterdam & Black Heritage Tours in New York. Black Heritage Tours in New York & Amsterdam. Retrieved September 8, 2021, from http://www.blackheritagetours.com/
9 A point of departure for future research includes the mapping of multi-actor positionalities within my family dynamic and exploring the influence of values and perspectives held by individuals and communities they intersected with. It might look toward tracing structural prescriptions of morality, how these transliterate within social cultures of specific localities and their impact upon the individual psyche.
10 Modest, W., & Lelijveld, R. (2017). Words Matter. Research Center for Material Culture. https://www.materialculture.nl/en/publications/words-matter
11 Heinrichs, M. (2020, August 9). What Does It Mean To Decolonize Your Mind? Organeyez. https://organeyez.co/blog/what-does-it-mean-to-decolonize-your-mind
12 Latour, B. (2017). On Actor-Network Theory. A Few Clarifications, Plus More Than a Few Complications. Philosophical Literary Journal Logos, 27(1), 173–197. https://doi.org/10.22394/0869-5377-2017-1-173-197
13 Basu, P. (2018). The Inbetweenness of Things: Materializing Mediation and Movement between Worlds. Bloomsbury Academic.
14 Turner, H. (2016). Critical Histories of Museum Catalogues. Museum Anthropology, 39(2), 102–110. https://doi.org/10.1111/muan.12118
15 Hoskins, J. (2006). Handbook of Material Culture by Tilley, Christopher Published by SAGE Publications Ltd (2006) Paperback. SAGE Publications Ltd.
16 Appadurai, A. (1988). The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge University Press.
17 Governmental press conference, July 15, 2014, Monrovia, Liberia. Photographed by Andrea Stultiens
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1943_KLDE ch.1

Below you find the first chapter of the unpublished English manuscript of Campfires Along the Equator titled “God’s own devils”. The translation was produced during the second World War, after the success of the first editions of the Dutch version of the book.

The chapter narrates the climb of Mount Kunon, mentioned in the goodbye letter to Paul Julien, read as part of the launch of this website on May 27th 2021.

Click on the reproductions for enlarged, readable, versions of pages of the manuscript, including correction by Paul Julien.

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2021_A goodbye letter to Dr. Paul Julien

“Almost everything […] is invented. But it’s not a game. It’s a form.”

Tim O’Brien in The Things They Carried, p.171

“Let me not just tell you all of this but rather allow you to see it for yourself.”

Paul Julien in a radio lecture broadcasted January 26th 1941

PB 1934 Dambarra Village Portrait

 

May 27th 2020

Dear Dr. Julien,

I am happy to inform you that I have finally found an appropriate and comprehensive mode of presentation, a Good Form so to speak, in which to present the activation of your legacy. Before I introduce you to it, there are two nagging questions that kept popping up as I developed this form. What did Good Form mean to you? And by extension which Truth did you present to your Dutch audiences? 

As I see it, Tim O’Brien’s use of the words “Good Form” and “Truth” in his novel ‘The Things They Carried’ (1990) are important. O’Brien (1946) is an American novelist and army veteran who, in this book, writes about some of his experiences as a soldier in the Vietnam War. There are fewer narratives in the book than there are chapters. That is, the same narrative is told several times through different perspectives that overlap and to some extent contradict each other. In the shortest chapter of the book, O’Brien suggests, and I paraphrase him here, ‘that Good Form is about making things present. About looking at things one never looked at. About being able to be brave and about being able to feel, or feel again,’ rather than about being true to what was experienced. He speaks in this regard about two types of truth, Happening Truth and Story Truth. The former being what was experienced by those who took part in an event, the latter what is presented to- and experienced by those encountering a narrative.

I assume you would agree with Timothy O’Brien that these truths exist and are important to distinguish. In your case, for instance, there is a truth in which you spent barely more than three weeks in Sierra Leone and another one in which you were stuck in a rainy camp for two months before embarking on the challenging climb up Mount Kunon

The first truth is the one I deducted from your notebook and the letters written to your parents. The second truth is the one told by you in the first chapter of your book ‘Campfires Along the Equator’

This book is still widely available in second hand book stores in the Netherlands, as I’m sure you can imagine due to the sheer number of editions produced. It cements the Story Truth of ‘an African life’, posited throughout the 1930s in your radio lectures. With increasing amazement I have noted how you maintained this claim over the six decades of your life that followed the initial publication of the book in 1940, including almost forty years in which you no longer set foot on the African continent.

While working with historical photographs in Uganda between 2008 and 2012 I developed an understanding of the limitations of my western-informed reading of pictures.[1] This resulted in the platform History in Progress Uganda and eventually in the PhD dissertation Ebifananyi, a study of photographs in Uganda in and through an artistic practice Where I, for instance, only saw colonial propaganda, it was pointed out to me that the meaning and value of such photographs was not limited to the intention with which they were made. These pictures also included clues about life in Uganda beyond the interest of the colonial context. These clues could only be made meaningful by Ugandan elders. They should be facilitated to share their observations with a younger generation in order to help them make sense of their – our – present. Building on such experiences, I consider your photographs to be capable of initiating wider conversations that could in turn provide alternatives for your framing of the African past and thus contribute to a multi-directional mode of remembrance.

This brings me back to the Good Form I developed, as it aims to contribute to a remembrance that does not take your positioning of the past, presented in the photographs you produced, at face value. This Good Form aims to be critical and inclusive. Critical of the colonial conditions in which you operated; of the privileges; the more and less overt racism present in your language and tangible in a substantial part of the photographs you produced. Inclusive in terms of audience, where your audience was exclusively European, the one I aim to reach out to includes people on and from the African continent. In fact, in the context of the Good Form that I developed, I do not think of them as members of an audience but as visitors to a virtual space. A virtual space constructed through an open ended stream of encounters from which I hope they all benefit. The idea is that the space itself is open to, and will develop further through, responses by visitors.

With this Good Form, I intervene in the state in which the pictures you produced used to be available, illustrating your texts in books and printed media and appearing alongside your stories in television shows. The interventions manifest in simple animations that I think of as Breathing Photographs in which pictures that have a significant formal overlap blend into one another in a tempo that is close to the lower average respiration rate of human breathing. 

Five seconds in, five seconds out. 

In the Breathing Photographs, the scenes that were photographed by you are present but never fixed. The singularity of the individual photographic frame is literally expanded in space and through time. As such, the Breathing Photographs resist the normality that existed with your publications in which it was a matter of course that ‘we’ in Europe could look at ‘them’ in Africa. 

Making these Breathing Photographs expands my understanding of the events, as well as the intensity with which you photographed. An example of this is the Breathing Photograph that consists of twenty four exposures made on August 8th or 9th 1934 in Dambarra. You may recall Paramount Chief Moriba Kargobai organising performances of masks, dancers and musicians for you. Combining the twenty four individual frames also reconstructs a panoramic view of the village.

I am no longer limited to the materiality of photographs for their presence. Instead I can source photographs, reproduce them, share them individually and make them publicly available through a digital, electronic network. Through this network the Breathing Photographs appear on demand on screens owned, perhaps not by everyone, but by many, including Moriba Kargobai’s son Desmond Kargobai, who is the current Paramount Chief of Selenga Chiefdom, including Dambarra village.

This same network makes it possible for me to bring pictures together from different origins, produced by your predecessors, contemporaries or me. They still overlap formally as well as in content with photographs from your legacy. The resultant Breathing Photographs provide insights into historical conventions and make it possible to compare your past to our present.

The Breathing Photographs are presented in a radically networked way. The brief texts that accompany them include connections that can be electronically activated and lead to other related Breathing Photographs. Through these connections, members of the audience are invited to find their own route through your legacy, reframed in Breathing Photographs. This Good Form does not present a linear narrative. Instead stories are given a chance to unfold in the engagement of visitors.

The Breathing Photographs allow me and visitors of the virtual space to reconstruct, to speculate and to develop open ended dialogical yet critical formations of imagination. They are both a research method and a provisional outcome of my research. They allow me to centralise the photographic encounter and its visual output or origin while investigating your legacy and to decentralise spoken and written text. This contrasts quite sharply with the data you collected and the facts, figures and ethnographic observations in which you presented your research.

In the letters I wrote with you as an addressee over the past two years you have a central position. These letters were a Good Form in the sense that they forced me to be inclusive of you and the conventions that informed your actions. They generated, you could say, a Happening Truth. Thanks to this form I could not simply distance myself from your position that I, as elaborated on in previous letters, found and find so deeply troubling. Now that I have this Good Form at my disposal I can say goodbye to you and fully focus on what I can learn from working with the photographs you so skillfully produced. For which, myself and seemingly many of the people who have contributed to the activation of your legacy with me, remain grateful,

With best regards, 

Andrea

TB 2020 Mount Kunon

References

References
1 This resulted in the platform History in Progress Uganda and eventually in the PhD dissertation Ebifananyi, a study of photographs in Uganda in and through an artistic practice
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2021_Article “Towards a Breathing Archive” in art historical journal (Dutch only)

I was invited to contribute to an issue of the art historical journal of students and alumni of University Utrecht named Article, devoted to “The Restless Archive”. The title of the Dutch text translates into “Towards a Breathing Archive”, all the visuals can be found as Breathing Photographs with the tag Sierra Leone. The text can be read by clicking on the pictures.

 

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1960_Angola itinerary

This itinerary is based on documents from Paul Julien’s personal collection, which are currently in the care of the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. Over time it will become more detailed and intricately networked. [1]last updated 2021-05-23

July 09 Letter from “Michaël van den Akker N.V. Kantoormachines en systemen” confirming agreement on loan of ‘Dictet Recorder’ & accessories. 

July 10 Ticket Amsterdam (The Netherlands) – Kano (Nigeria).

July 12 Ticket Kano – Luanda (Angola)

July 12 Letter to Elly Julien Roberts from Kano while waiting for airplane to Luanda via Bangui (Central African Republic). Letter from J.P. Magrath, Shell offices, on meeting in Luanda, addressed at Dr. Julien / Luanda.

July 12-14 Luanda, Receipt from hotel Continental.

July 14 Newspaper clipping ‘Diario di Luanda’ “Um Grande antropologo halondes esta em Angola”. Arranges tickets mentioned below on this day. Letter from ‘Michaël van den Akker N.V. Kantoormachines en systemen’ on the broken down dictaphone machine and working towards a solution. 

July 15 Air freight form from Dictaphone Company Ltd on the loan of a portable recording machine because ”his machine has broken down and cannot be repaired locally”.

July 15 Ticket flight Luanda – Sa Bandeira. Letter to Elly Julien Roberts. Reports safe arrival in Sa’ da Bandeira, describes Luanda experience, mentions friendly cooperation of the Portuguese.

July 16 Newspaper clipping in Angolan paper with a photograph of an official function on which Julien appears. There are also prints of this photograph/function in the documentation.

July 18 Undated letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from Luanda, dated by the stamp. Announces trip on Friday [07-20] per plane to Nova Lisboa, then in car to Serpa Pinto. Mentions being recognised by former student from his time at the Aloysius college in The Hague.

Julien 25-30 Letters to Elly Julien-Roberts from Alhanca Mission. Research going slowly, reports on the ‘rescue’ of a child. 

August 08 Ticket flight Sa Bandeira – Mocamedes 

August 08-10 Sa da Bandeira, Lubango, Hotel receipt, 2 nights. 

August 14 Letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from “Vila Arriaga in the Chela mountains”. Announces scheduled departure and arrival on August 21 at Schiphol.

August 15-16 Sa da Bandeira, Lubango, Hotel receipt 2 nights.

August 18 Letter to Elly Julien Roberts from Sa’ da Bandeira, mentions onward journey per plane to Pereira d’ Ega and 2 days visit to a Dutch missionary in Huíla, and the tribe of the ‘Wamhuila’ “who have enormous hairdos, dripping of grease, stiffened by beads, Bantu Negroes that are ‘interesting but few’. Reporting on meagre mission situation and outcomes.

August 19-20 Sa da Bandeira, Lubango, Hotel receipt 3 nights. Ticket flight Sabandera – Luanda

August 19 Luanda Hotel Continental receipt for 1 night

August 20 Flight ticket Luanda – Lisbon – Amsterdam

September 07 Returned from Angola with pneumonia. Letter from R.K. Lyceum (high school) for girls The Hague. Reply to a letter Julien sent August 12, with concerns about his health and return to teaching. 

References

References
1 last updated 2021-05-23
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1962_Angola & Nigeria itinerary

This itinerary is based on documents from Paul Julien’s personal collection, which are currently in the care of the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. Over time it will become more detailed and intricately networked. [1]last updated 2021-05-23

June 27 Letter from broadcaster of Julien’s radio talks KRO; it is not possible to provide the requested sound recording equipment due to high demand. 

July 02 Letter on sponsorship agreement between Julien and KLM, Julien gets a ticket with a value of ƒ1.052 and in return “He will favourably mention KLM and promote travelling by Electra II in his lectures”. Signed by Julien on July 4th, flight should be no later than July 12th. 

July 14 Letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from Luanda. Since 2 days in Luanda. Reports on plans unfolding and contacts made. 

July 23 Letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from Serpa Pinto. Announces onward journey to the south east by car, praises the help he gets from the colonial government. 

July 25 Letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from Cuangar. All well, reporting on journey, absence (largely) on Catholicism and onward journey to Dirico. Looks out on “South-West Africa” (Namibia) from his window. 

July 28 Letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from Dirico. All is well, research progressing, ‘bushmen‘ are “The kindest people of Africa”.

August 06 Letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from Serpa Pinto. Reports return from Dirico Mission and onward journey to Cuito Canavale[?] and Baixo Longa

August 13 Letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from Serpa Pinto (with note by Elly of arrival on the 14th). “had over 300 Bushmen, saw a lot, filmed a lot and feel excellent.” projected arrival in the Netherlands 27th or 28th of August. Again praise of the Portuguese, went lion hunting without seeing a lion. Experienced the “interesting initiation of the Ganguele tribe”. 

August 18 Letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from Kano. Reports safe arrival and announces brief journey through Bauchi plateau before onward journey to the Netherlands on August 28.

References

References
1 last updated 2021-05-23
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1959_Cameroon itinerary

This itinerary is based on documents from Paul Julien’s personal collection, which are currently in the care of the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. Over time it will become more detailed and intricately networked. [1]last updated 2021-05-23

July 15th Air France ticket (issued June 11th), July 15th, Amsterdam (Netherlands), Paris (France), Fort Lamy (Chad).

July 19th Letter to Elly Julien Roberts, sent from Maroua, not much to report yet, only having arrived at Fort Lamy and there having visited the Unilever country director.

July 21st Letter to Elly Julien Roberts, sent from Maroua, northern Cameroon. Julien mentions staying with Mr. Geel “A Dutch agent”, and onward travel with a care made available by the government, to Mokolo where the “Chef de Region” awaits him. He also mentions that the German mr. and mrs. Kaufman had been invited for dinner.

July 29th Letter to Elly Julien Roberts, sent from Mokolo, northern Cameroon. Julien describes his crew, a cook and three helpers who all speak French but are of the Matakam a “still very wild tribe”. He reports having traveled to the (also) “very wilde” Tourou, but having moved on because the flies there were unbearable. Then he mentions having “researched” the Matakam tribe before continuing to the (again) “still very wild” Kapsiki and the impressive mountain area they inhibit. “Tomorrow” he will travel with a young French agricultural engineer to “the practically unknown mountain tribe of the Ziver who live in complete isolation and never communicate with their environment [sic!]”. After this he will move, still by government vehicle, to Mora “north of Mokolo”, and then with Mr. Kauffman and Frau Huttenmeister (who was ill earlier, but now recovered), travel in their car.

August 13th Letter to Elly Julien Roberts, sent from Doume, southern Cameroon, where Julien mentions staying at the Catholic Mission and an ontward trip to Yokadouma, where he also passed in 1936.

August 25 Air France tickets Batouri (Cameroon) – Bangui (Central African Republic) – Fort Lamy – Paris – Amsterdam.

September 11 Announcements of Julien’s safe return in several Dutch newspapers.

References

References
1 last updated 2021-05-23
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1955_Ethiopia itinerary

This itinerary is based on documents from Paul Julien’s personal collection, which are currently in the care of the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. Over time it will become more detailed and intricately networked. [1]last updated 2021-05-23

July 19-27 Letters to Elly Julien-Roberts from Addis Ababa.

July 28 Letter to Elly Julien-Roberts from Norwegian Lutheran Mission in Yirga Alem.

August 3-9 Letters to Elly Julien-Roberts from Gidole.

Julien received for this expedition a grant from the Dutch organisation for Scientific research of ƒ4.250,–. Confirmed in letter dated July 7th.

 

References

References
1 last updated 2021-05-23
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