Unsere Afrikareise (Our Journey to Africa)

film strips
Courtesy the artist

A commissioned work: Peter Kubelka was asked to document the African safari of an Austrian travel group on film. But Kubelka used the footage he made–often shot in amateurish fashion with a wobbly camera–as mere material. Like Dziga Vertov before him, he counterpoints the documentary presentation with a precise, focused image-sound montage that thwarts all expectations. For example, the banal and cynical comments by the safari participants clash starkly and bluntly with pictures showing slain wild animals or Africans following traditional lifestyles. Strangling elephants with bare hands is one remark, and a picture of a slaughtered animal is directly followed by that of two tourists awkwardly wading in a river in their safari suits. The film takes sides without recurring soundtrack commentary; the interplay of image and sound, which is actually a trenchant counterplay that uses location sound as a means of unmasking, produces the horrific narration on its own.


  • original Title: Unsere Afrikareise
  • Date: 1966
  • Genre: Film

This work is issued in following texts