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Kakaoplantage, São Tomé / Foto
"Cacao-Plantage. Ingenieur L. Freund."
Porträt L. Freund neben Kakaobaum und Bahnschienen stehend.

Foto, undatiert, nach 1906, Amateuraufnahme, handschriftlich...
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São Tomé - Photo Album
São Tomé - Photo Album

In 1913, and still under Portuguese colonial rule, the twin island state São Tomé and Principe, Africa's second smallest country, was the world's largest producer of cocoa, nicknamed the 'Chocolate Islands'.

Even after the official abolition of slavery, working conditions on the island did not change. "The islands possess exactly the kind of climate that kills men and makes cocoa-trees flourish", wrote the British Henry W. Nevinson in 1906 in his book 'A modern slavery'. Cocoa exports are booming. Three years later, the British chocolate producer Cadbury launched a boycott against “slave-grown cocoa” from São Tomé and Príncipe and appealed to other British and American companies to do the same.
The private photo album of the German engineer Leo Freund dates from exactly this time. The photographs show plantation workers in their everyday life, the Portuguese militia and the loading of the cocoa beans at the port.

Footnotes:
Even today, cocoa accounts for over 70 percent of São Tomé's exports. There are now some cooperatives that specialize in sustainable production and fair trade.
[2] Nevinson, Henry Woodd. 1906. A modern slavery. London, New York: Harpers & Brothers Publishers. Accessed on 03.09.2019 https://archive.org/details/modernslavery00nevirich/page/n245
It was not until 1906 that the construction of a first route began. Just a few years later, the rail traffic between the plantations extends to 245 km.

To the blog post: Photo album São Tomé