Resistance: Three Generations anticolonial Protest in Camerun, 2019
Manga Bell and His Anti-Colonial Petition
German colonisation of what is now Cameroon began on the eve of the Berlin Conference of 1884/1885 in the coastal town of Duala. There, in July 1884, local kings signed a so-called “protection treaty” with German representatives, which laid the foundation for the successive annexation of further territories by the German Empire. This treaty did not actually provide for expropriations, forced labour or arbitrary arrests of the local population. However, when this increasingly occurred and resettlement plans according to racist criteria became known in Duala, the young King Rudolf Duala Manga Bell rose up against the colonial administration. Together with other Cameroonian kings, he sent an extensive petition to the German Reichstag in 1912. Since this and other resistance actions were initially ineffective, Manga Bell sent his secretary Ngoso Din to Berlin to inform political actors there about the grievances in the colony and to mobilise them. Instead of responding to the demands of Manga Bell and his partners, the colonial authorities convicted him of ‘high treason’ in 1914 and had him hanged together with Ngoso Din on August 9th.
Franky Mindja (full name: Frank Edgard Mindja Mengouana) was born in Yaoundé in 1994. He lives and works in Douala, Cameroon. According to his family, he started sketching by the age of three. As a teenager, he knew that he wanted to turn his passion into a profession. After graduating from high school, he completed a bachelor’s degree at the Institut de Formation Artistique (IFA) art school in Mbalmayo, Cameroon. Since then, he has illustrated book projects, drawn his own comics and worked on animated films. In 2014, he took first prize in the Crayon de D’jino drawing competition. In 2019, drawings he created were displayed at an exhibition in Florence, Italy.
Foto: © Franky Mindja