The Colonial Situation in Practice: Food at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, Lambaréné 1924–65

Zumthurm, Tizian (2020). The Colonial Situation in Practice: Food at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, Lambaréné 1924–65. International journal of African historical studies, 53(1), pp. 47-69. African Studies Center

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This case study provides insights into how a hospital in colonial Africa was provisioned with food, while it also sheds light onto daily life in a colonial situation. The article connects the rich sources from the Albert Schweitzer Hospital with the social history of Gabon. It demonstrates how the institution mirrors the food problems of the territory by investigating what doctors, nurses, visitors, and patients considered an ideal diet and by examining what efforts and practices were upheld to meet these ideals. In order to illuminate these issues, the paper sketches out how different foods (plantains, rice, palm-oil, fruit, and fish) were acquired or produced on site and how these processes changed over time. In this manner, practices and discourses on nutrition and health exemplify the inauthenticity of the colonial situation and reveal how
economic priorities influenced food supply in colonial Gabon.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for the History of Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Zumthurm, Tizian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




African Studies Center




Barbara Järmann-Bangerter

Date Deposited:

30 Dec 2020 11:39

Last Modified:

30 Dec 2020 11:39

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Nutrition, Rice, Timber Industry, Trade, Gabon, Health




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