This Breathing Photograph consists of a newspaper
report on Paul Julien's 1962
journey to Angola
and sheet film PJU-2739
Child at Teguessang], produced in 1936
The headline of the report, published by "De Telegraaf", translates into "a people not yet able to talk". Julien wrote next to it "Nonsense from De Telegraaf."
The caption of the photograph states "Dr. Paul Julien comforts one of the children before taking blood
The rest of the article translates into:
“Since 1926 I move from one tribe to the next, from the Pygmies
to the Bantoe-negroes and from the Watutsi
to the Hottentots. I have learned to love these people and it is hard to say goodbye to that.” Said the Dutch anthropologist of world fame dr. Paul Julien, when he recently momentarily rested from his long journeys in the comfortable home of mr. Klein Wassink, director of an oil company in Angola.
The scholar and writer, a.o. of “Campfires Along the Equator
” is well beyond sixty years of age, and recently returned from his 23rd expedition through the very dry desert land in southern Angola.
Dr. Julien, being the sole white person tracking with a dozen of porters
, speaks about such a journey where is, as if he explains the routes of the four day marches.
I try, through blood types, to establish mutual relationship, between negro tribes or the lack thereof. I have on this journey discovered a tribe, of which I know a missionary to be trying to contact them for forty years. They are the Ovan Kwankala Bushmen
, a very primitive Pygmy-like race. In the dry desert in which these people live water is hardly present. And it is as if nature sense that life is not easy. The birthrate is here the lowest of the whole of Africa.
The people here still live in a stage in which they are discovering the potential of communicating through sound. They do not yet produce spoken language, but clicking sounds with the tongue. Dr. Julien utters a few clicking sounds which demand great virtuosity of the tongue muscle.
“Despite all their poverty, rough life and primitivity, these little people were the friendliest I ever met in Africa”.
What the next plan is of the enterprising Dutch man?
This week even he travels to Nigeria for a blood research among the Palaeonegride Negro
tribes of the Baucho [sic] plateau
. “Too bad that, to work out my research data I have to travel to the Netherlands from time to time” sighs the greying scientist, who is registered as a citizen of Wassenaar.”
It is unclear what exactly Julien considered to be “nonsense” in this article.