Pygmee’s in the world of Today
The Baka Pygmee are one of the smallest people on earth. They live in the jungles of Central Afrika and are very skilled in
gathering and hunting.
“I’m fascinated by the diversity of people and especially indigious groups that live in close contact with Nature.
To prepare and organize this project we got help from developing organization SNV and Reinout van den Bergh, with who i did my internship, which has a lot of experience as a photographer in Afrika.”
For this project we flew to Doala the capital of Cameroon.
From here we had to travel through difficult tracks by bus, motor, SUV and foot to reach the village of the Baka.
On our way we got some serious problems with corrupt police and army man because of our skin color.
Most of the time they asked for money so we offer them a beer and things were ok again.
Because Cameroon has the highest mountain of west Afrika the “Mount Cameroon” we
had to climb this mountain that is actually an active volcano of 4095 mtr.
We stayed for 2 weeks with the Baka pygmy people and we soon become close with a
few and were accepted by the village.
They took it very serious and it took us the hole day to explain where we came from and why we came to them.
We told them that we were interested in who they are and how the live as an individual and as a group next to other groups.
That we wanted to know how they see there future what there dream and fears were.
When they saw that we were doing what they were doing even when it was only for the woman to do and that we were eating what they were
eating they liked it and invade us to every aspect of there every day lives.
So we went hunting with the best hunters of the village (26km true the jungle), making a house with branches and mud,
helping the woman preparing the food and cooking on a fire, play with the children, being part of a funeral were we wanted to leave out of
respect for a few days but they asked if we could please be part of it because this was how it should be and even went to church on sunday.
What we saw was a healthy group of people that live selfsufficient in the jungle of Cameroon.
But after a little bit more time we started to see the complex issues that were part of life, some were problems of the modern globalized
word that even reach in the hidden corners of the jungle and other were problems with there neighbor tribes.
We found out that most of the damage were made by developing organizations.
Some project were good and very positive but most of the time it changed everything what they are and know about.
Things are changing very fast and with an overdose of NGO’. around its no turning back. Like these people didn’t have any money, everything is gartered, hunted and barter.
Now they see all these NGO SUV with people that tell them how to do things so that they have a better life.
Quit sad and it makes you question yourself what are you doing there.. what is your impact?..
So this was an beautiful and interesting project but at the end you got more questions than answers.
But my love for Afrika and its people is born.