Pagne propagande Sotega le pompidou

SOTEGA 1971 Bongo/Pompidou State Visit Pagne
See Tropenmuseum/Paul Faber catalog from 2010 "Long Live the President" plate 34. My example purchased from France, bought in Paris in unknown circumstances in 1970s. It is about three of what would have been originally sold as six yards of fabric. It was produced by Societe Industrielle Textile du Gabon (SOTEGA), founded in Libreville in 1969 to locally print and dye Chinese made cotton fabric .[1] A small mark above the bottom selvage reads SOTEGA. The 1971 trip of French President Pompidou to Africa included a February visit to Gabon and a March visit to Senegal.

 It some ways this was the high water mark of Francafrique, with De Gaulle's notorious "Mr. Africa" Jacques Foccart organizing meetings on both sides, and demonstrating the continuity of the Neocolonial relationship following Pompidou's ascension to President in 1969 and Bongo's in 1967. Gabon, under Bongo in particular, is the very poster child for French neocolonialism, with the Gabonese elites entirely penetrated by French capital, businesses, and advisors, and France reliant upon Gabonese oil, uranium, and other commodities. Bongo was able, by the late 70s, to demonstrate that this interconnectedness went both ways, as his own meddling in French affairs came to light in a series of scandals over Gabonese capital 'investments' in politicians of the Metropole. Ascetically, it is an amazing piece, very much of the 1970s, with the huge stylized tree with swirling leaves and roots in electric green and reddish brown. Coffee seeds form backgrounds, with grassy verges, brown waves, and a line of heraldic emblems along the top. These are the state seals of France and Gabon, and the city seals of Libreville and Paris, the similarities of which are not accidental. The images of Bongo and Pompidou are linked with a scroll reading "Franco-Gabonese Friendship", a phrase often used by Bongo and President Leon Mba before him. The photo of Bongo is a common one of the time: stamps, posters, and other prints of around this time using the same photo. The smaller scroll gives the dates "9 February 1839" & "11 February 1971". The 1971 date is of the visit celebrated. This fabric was surely produced shortly before to be worn by citizens and organized celebrants on that date. The "9 Fevrier 1839" date, given here as the beginning of Franco-Gabonese Friendship, is more interesting. It is the date of the first French colonial treaty in what later became Gabon, between Mpongwè ruler Rapontchombo (later "King Denis") and Captain Louis Édouard Bouët-Willaumez, aboard the French ship Malouine. The "King Denis" treaty extended a French "Protectorate" over the Myènè people who live along the Estuary region of northern Gabon (where Libreville now sits). In exchange for this protectorate, the French bombarded Denis' clan rivals, but by 1845 ejected the King from his home, founding Fort d'Aumale there. Before the end of the century, Gabon was home to a particularly brutal colonial regime administered in near slavery conditions under private business "Concessions". It seems a double edged reference in the celebration French Gabonese relations. Overall, this is one of my favorite pieces, combining as it does the FrancoAfrican postcolonial relationship, two of its defining leaders, and a really stunning design. [1] See p.298 of Peter Robson (ed), Transnational corporations and regional economic integration. Volume 9 of International financial management. Taylor & Francis US, 1993 ISBN9780415085427


No comments:

Post a Comment