By M. Boyde
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The identities of both Sogo Jan and Atir are historically framed by the horror of slavery: Mehmet Ali who masterminded sending the giraffe as a royal tribute had ‘monopolised the slave trade for fifty years’ (Allin 36). Atir served as a slave of Bernadino Drovetti, the adept plunderer and marketeer of Egyptian antiquities. Soon after Sogo Jan is captured in the hunt and her mother killed, Atir, perhaps in an attempt to expiate his culpability, confides to her his own traumatic history ‘I was once a slave like you – stolen from my village in Mali by the jonserelao’ (Burns 250).
Verticality, Vertigo and Vulnerabilities 25 Works cited Acampora, Ralph R. Corporal Compassion: Animal Ethics and Philosophy of Body. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006. Allin, Michael. Zarafa: The True Story of a Giraffe’s Journey from the Plains of Africa to the Heart of Post-Napoleonic France. New York: Walker, 1998. Berger, John. About Looking. London: Writers and Readers, 1980. Braidotti, Rosi. ‘Animals, Anomalies, and Inorganic Others’. 2 (2009): 526–32. Burns, Khephra. ‘Tall Horse: Performance Script’.
Jamrach himself went to St Petersburg in July 1882 and seems to have been involved in supplying up to three thousand African monkeys per year to the monkey theatres which were popular in Germany and Russia at that time. In spite of the risks involved the profits were high. Jamrach left £7150 and 8d so he died a fairly wealthy man as this is roughly half a million pounds at today’s rates. As the century wore on Jamrach became more dependent on the specifically English colonies and was less able to buy animals from Africa where the German dealers, especially Hagenbeck, were increasingly in control.
Captured: The Animal within Culture by M. Boyde