ESSAY Right up until the 1960s, Hamburg University saw itself as a “colonial university”. A search for traces of a difficult legacy and the coupling of science and colonialism. When the University of Hamburg was founded in 1919, it was proud to be the first university in the new, democratic Germany. Its direct predecessor was the Hamburgisches Kolonialinstitut, a high school dating back to 1909 which had been designed to “scientify” colonialism as a reaction to genocide and bloody rebellion in German colonies. The film combs the archives of the university, the greenhouses and labs, undertakes an expedition to Central Africa, reads the letters of an African language assistant and contributes to the current debate about restitution.
DANIEL KULLE (*1976) is a film-maker and film scientist in Hamburg. His work deals with queer cinema, post-digital aesthetics and experimental film. Das Kolonialinstitut is his first full-length film.