Colonial Fantasies


Fantasies of domination and projections of danger were thoroughly intertwined in German colonialism. The uprisings in German Southwest Africa and German East Africa between 1904 and 1908 were brutally suppressed, in some cases with genocidal violence. Thereafter the German colonial administration propagated more rule-oriented policies that continued to build on asymmetrical power relations. Though better regulated, these policies could take a turn toward physical force at any moment. At home in Germany, the visualization of colonial rule was omnipresent. Völkerschauen (human zoos) and advertising posters stereotyped Blackness or non-whiteness. They evoked the need for unambiguous subordination and superiority, so as not to challenge ethnic and gender boundaries that were supposedly fixed. Nonetheless, white German women were able to experience the colonies as a space in which they were allowed to venture into areas typically associated with masculinity, such as big-game hunting.


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