“It started with an album, called the Kamerun album, it was given to him by the Grandmother of his wife, they found it in the attic.”
Lynhan Balatbat works for Colonial Neighbours , a Berlin-based art project that collects objects and stories related to Germany’s controversial colonial past. Lynhan is referring to the travel journal of a colonial soldier who was based in German Cameroon. Each photo from the journal provides an unsettling insight into the world that this soldier saw and took part in colonizing.
Finding this album began a journey into the homes of many other families in Germany. Colonial Neighbours is run by Savvy Contemporary, a Berlin art space initiated by Bonaventure Ndikung, whose relative the album belonged to. The project’s endeavour is to bring Germany’s imperial past into the open by making people think about how it affects their daily lives and how it has lived on in the present.