GABON – GABON

Atlantska promenada-Atlantic seafront Au Bord de Mer

Atlantska promenada-Atlantic seafront Au Bord de Mer

Bolnica dr Alberta Svajcera-Dr Albert Schweitzer's hospital in Lambarene

Bolnica dr Alberta Svajcera-Dr Albert Schweitzer’s hospital in Lambarene

Crkva u glavnom gradu-A church in the capital

Crkva u glavnom gradu-A church in the capital

Gradska plaza u Librevilu-City beach in Libreville

Gradska plaza u Librevilu-City beach in Libreville

Klesanje skulpture-Carving of the wooden sculpture

Klesanje skulpture-Carving of the wooden sculpture

Medicinski karton-Medical record in Lambarene hospital

Medicinski karton-Medical record in Lambarene hospital

Albert Svajcer-Dr Albert Schweitzer

Albert Svajcer-Dr Albert Schweitzer

Crkva u glavnom gradu-Saint Paroisse church in the capital

Crkva u glavnom gradu-Saint Paroisse church in the capital

Crveni kanjon u regionu Fransvila-Canyon rouge in the region of Franceville or Masuku

Crveni kanjon u regionu Fransvila-Canyon rouge in the region of Franceville or Masuku

Moj prijatelj na grobu Alberta Svajcera-By the grave of Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene

Moj prijatelj na grobu Alberta Svajcera-By the grave of Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene

Priprema za polazak-Port-Gentil, preparing to leave

Priprema za polazak-Port-Gentil, preparing to leave

Skulpture na setalistu kraj mora-Unique sculptures at the Seaside Boulevard

Skulpture na setalistu kraj mora-Unique sculptures at the Seaside Boulevard

Ulaz u glavni grad-The entrance to the capital Libreville

Ulaz u glavni grad-The entrance to the capital Libreville

Velika riba-Fishing Capitaine

Velika riba-Fishing Capitaine

Vodopadi Kongu u unutrasnjosti zenlje-Kongou Falls in the countryside

Vodopadi Kongu u unutrasnjosti zenlje-Kongou Falls in the countryside

Ne bih mogao reći da dobro poznajem ovu zapadnoafričku zemlju iz kratke posete njenom glavnom gradu, koji se simbolično naziva Slobodni grad – Libreville.

Moja veza sa Gabonom je Rade, vlasnik etno-restorana “Afrika” u Grockoj, pored Beograda, na samoj obali Dunava, koji je pola svog života proveo u toj zemlji. Ulazak u  restoran je ulazak u srce crnog kontinenta, jer sve što je tamo izloženo predstavlja afričku umetnost i svakodnevni život te zemlje. Maske na zidovima, mape afričkih regiona, zmijske i krokodilske kože, preparirane životinje i ribe, upotrebni umetnički predmeti u lokalnom stilu, slike plemenskih kraljeva, crteži sa motivima života u džungli, sve čudesno podseća na sopstveno detinjstvo i stripove o Fantomu, pravednom borcu afričkih bespuća i prijatelju životinja, koji pokušava da tu zavede neki red. Pa i džungla mora imati svoj red i poredak, a uloga belog čoveka u toj afričkoj hijerarhiji ipak je znak ili ostatak kolonijalne dominacije.

Protiv nje se do kraja života borio i neumorni heroj našeg vremena, francusko-nemački lekar, teolog, humanista, filozof i misionar – Albert Švajcer, dobitnik Nobelove nagrade za mir 1952. godine. Svoj život posvetio je Bahovoj muzici i filozofiji poštovanja života, kojoj je posvetio i sopstveni život. Neumorno i do poslednjeg daha, lečio je svoje pacijente u improvizovanoj bolnici u Lambarenu, tadašnjoj Francuskoj Ekvatorijalnoj Africi, a današnjem Gabonu. Tu se nalazi i njegov grob, sa jednostavnim krstom na kome je sâm isklesao svoje ime. Ponosan sam što pripadam Univerzitetu Albert Švajcer sa sedištem u Ženevi.

I tako je Rade, zavodeći red po ovoj zemlji u ulozi savremenog Fantoma, nama pričinio zadovoljstvo da napravi jedinstvenu etno-kuću u kojoj uživam uvek kad poželim da se setim Afrike. Setim se tada i slobodnog grada Librevila, savremene francuske arhitekture u pojedinim njegovim delovima, brojnih manjih katoličkih, protestantskih i drugih crkvi, u zavisnosti od toga koji su misionari nametali svoju volju i religuju u tom trenutku. Borba za afričko tle i religioznu prevlast još intenzivno traje, sve dok ima onih koji se nisu opredelili za nekog opštepriznatog boga, već vekovima imaju nekog svog lokalnog i ne daju ga lako. Tek kad se i poslednje plemensko božanstvo potčini onim finim bakicama – časnim sestrama u svetloplavim odorama i velikim krstom oko vrata, koje neumorno osvajaju svaki pedalj Afrike, moći će se i ova zemlja nazvati slobodnom.

Ali, po kojim i čijim merilima?

Jun 2003.

_____________________________________________________________________

I could not say that I got to know this West African country really well during my short visit to its capital, symbolically called Free City – Libreville. My link to Gabon is Rade, the owner of the ethno restaurant ‘Africa’ in Grocka near Belgrade, on the very bank of the Danube. He spent half his life in that country. Entering his restaurant is like entering the heart of the black continent itself, as every single thing that is displayed there represents African art or daily life. Masks on the walls, African regional maps, snake and crocodile skins, stuffed animals and fish, local artefacts for daily use, pictures of tribal kings, drawings of jungle life, all of this wondrously reminds me of my own childhood and comic strips about the Phantom, a just fighter in the African wilderness, an animal lover who was trying to bring some order to the jungle. Even the jungle should have its law and order, and the role of a white man in the African hierarchy is a remnant of colonial rule.

Colonial domination was also fought by a tireless hero of our times Dr Albert Schweitzer, a French-German doctor, a theologist, a humanist, a philosopher and a missionary. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952. He devoted his life to the music of Bach and his own philosophy called Reverence of Life which he practised throughout his life. Tirelessly and until his last breath he treated his patients in an improvised hospital in Lambaréné in then French Equatorial Africa, today’s Gabon. His grave is located there as well, with a simple cross into which he had carved his name himself. I am proud to be a member of the Albert Schweitzer University in Geneva.

So, playing a role of a modern Phantom and bringing order to Gabon, my friend Rade has built this ethno house, a unique pleasure that I always go back to when I want to remind myself of Africa. Then I remember the free city of Libreville, contemporary French architecture in some of its parts, numerous smaller Catholic, Protestant and other churches, depending on which missionaries prevailed at the time. The intense fight for the African soil and religious domination is still going on, as long as there are those who have not yet embraced one of the major religions and their gods, but stick to their own deity they have worshipped for centuries and will not give it up. Only after the last

African deity succumbs to those pleasant grannies – nuns in their light blue robes and a huge cross around their necks, conquering every foot of Africa, only then will this country be called free.

But on whose terms?

June 2003

Leave a Reply