Colonialist Photography: Imag(in)ing Race and Place

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Eleanor M. Hight, Gary David Sampson
Routledge, 2002 - Photography - 328 pages
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Colonialist Photography is an absorbing collection of essays and photographs exploring the relationship between photography and European and American colonialism. Packed with well over a hundred images, these captivating pictures range from the first experiments with photography as a documentary medium, up to the decolonisation of many regions after the Second World War. Reinforcing a broad range of Western assumptions and prejudices, such images often assisted in the construction of a colonial culture. In these thirteen essays, Colonialist Photography considers: * how photographs tended to support the cultural and political rhetoric of racial and geographic difference between the West and its colonies * the range of images from 'scientific' categorizing and recording methods, to 'commercial' pictures for collection and display, such as postcards and magazine advertisements * how photographers contributed to cultural, social, and political ideas of race by highlighting racial distinction in their work. By drawing upon methods from anthropology, literary criticism, geography, imperial history and art history, Hight and Sampson offer a rich source of current ideas about relationship between colonialism and visual representation. Using case studies and recent forms of interpretative analysis, these post-colonial readings provide a thought-provoking analysis of how we imagine race and place.

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About the author (2002)

Gary D. Sampson is Associate Professor of art history at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio. His recent publications include chapters on the photography of Samuel Bourne and Lala Deen Dayal in India Through the Lens.

Eleanor M. Hight is Associate Professor of art history at the University of New Hampshire, Durham. She is the author of Picturing Modernism: Moholy-Nagy and Photography in Weimar Germany and Jackson Pollock: A Study in Reception.

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