European views of nature
- Widerness / Eden
- Travellers / explorers
- Hunters and hunting
- The position of Africans
Eden / Wilderness
The Dream - represents a wilderness, a wild jungle that is out of reach of Europenas. It represents a vision of Africa which in many ways has persisted for centuries. Rousseau had never been to Africa and drew painted the picture from his imagination which was fed with images from travellers with first hand knowledge aqnd detailed descfiptions of what they saw: animals, dark and mysterious.
Explorers: Mungo Park, David Livingstone created an image of Africa that was both paradise and wilderness, spectacular and but savage beauty, mythical. Wilderness was disappaearing from NA and Eu and there was a need to cling on to the idea of open spaces such as the African savannahs. 'an untouched land, unaffected by humans, a virgin territory.'
But this was largely wrong, humans had been there for hundredsa of thousands of years. But the people didn't matter to the explorers, it was the land, animals and wilderness. They wanted to save this imagge of wild africa: the plains and animals.
Out of Africa came riches: gold, slaves, diamonds.
Humans dominant : wilderness where order was broken down
inherent value which must be preserved and taped and celebrated : nature there for use by humans, to be controled to establish rule and order.
Trying to chart the course of the Niger river. Timbucktoo. Legends featuring gold. He succeeded and was greeted as a hero. His book, 'Travels of interior Africa.' Pictures in the book: dark jungle, a hero, lonely in the dark jungle but returned successful. He did however die in a later journey.
long, detailed books aiding the romanticisation of Africa. Described the beauty of what he was seeing. He wanted to find the source of the Nile.
Widely presumed to be dead but found. 'Dr Livingstone I presume?' Wrote a book called How I found Livingstone. Very popular. He missed few opportunities for glorious overstatement. Rosy pictures of Africa which were extremely influential in the imagery of Africa in Europe. Was originally a missionary but was rubbish at it so turned more and more to exploring. Used his books to raise funds to carry on missionary work.
Described forests, lakes, rivers which blew people's minds. People assumed it was all very dry but he talked about fruit trees etc. Wanted to put a positive spin on it tso that missionaries and colonialists didn't give up: left out disease, hostile tribes, dissentry etc. Anything he thought the public at home wouldn't like he didn't mention: potential converts involved in the slave trade, slave traders helped him when he ran into difficulties.
So all of these images composed by these authors contributed to the image of Eden, but still darkness an wild animals. They were all big hunters too.