Project Description

A German colony.

Pictures from the Model Colony (WT)

In Togo, West Africa, films shot a century ago in the German colony of “Togoland” will be publicly screened in front of our own camera. On our journey to the filming locations of that time, we will discover together with the audience in today’s Togo film images from the last years of the German colonial era. Together we will question the film material about its historical background and the effects of colonialism to this day.

director: Jürgen Ellinghaus
genre: documentary
duration: approx. 90 min.
format: HD / DCP 5.1
status: in preparation
completion: 2021/2

German working title: Togoland – Bilder aus der Musterkolonie
French working title: Togoland, Projections Impériales

writer & director:
Jürgen Ellinghaus
camera: Rémi Jennequin
sound: Caled Boukari
editor: Florent Mangeot
production manager: Quentin Laurent, Henriette Degener
funding provided by: CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée; nordmedia – Film- und Mediengesellschaft Niedersachsen/Bremen mbH (production); PROCIREP; Région Sud; Centre Val de Loire; viàVosges TV, Epinal

commissioning editor: Rolf Bergmann, rbb (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg)
producers: Frédéric Feraud, Quentin Laurent, Peter Roloff
co-production: Les Films de l’œil sauvage with maxim film and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg

pictures on this site: © Les Films de l’oeil sauvage

A century ago, the German colonial experiment, which was characterized by superiority, striving for world power, missionary spirit, conquistadors and adventurism, ended abruptly. Six decades ago, the Republic of Togo was granted independence by France. The documentary Togoland: Imperial Projections examines the relationship between this African country and its former colonial powers (Germany and France are in the foreground).

In the presentation of the history of colonial relations between Europe and Africa, a change of perspective is emerging today. For a long time the view was almost exclusively europeocentric on the African continent – the epitome of “foreignness” and “wilderness”. A gaze directed at an object and based on European sources and European media. Now, not least under the influence of a new generation of African historians with an expanded, transnational or continental archival field of vision, new perspectives are emerging. These are increasingly questioning traditional patterns of representation of today’s African nation-states and their self-image, albeit partly with difficulty and against interest-related resistance.

Togo is affected several times in this regard, as the country has undergone three phases of colonial domination and proselytizing in a short period of time. The first German capitulation against the Allies in the First World War occurred in the Togoland colony, and as a result a never-ending territorial division combined with new forms of cultural and linguistic imperialism. In today’s Togo in particular, clichés about colonial history that have been rumored for decades, which were largely taken over by the colonizers, are subject to criticism. Togolese and German voices also point to the fact that there has never been a decolonization process in the relationship between Togo and Germany.

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