Chapter

Empires of the Visual: Photography and Colonial Administration in Africa

Paul S. Landau

in Images and Empires

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520229488
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927292 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520229488.003.0006
Empires of the Visual: Photography and Colonial Administration in Africa

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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This chapter examines the role of photography in colonial administration in Africa. It explains that image was the medium for colonialism's representational encounter with Africans. It argues that the idea that Western photographs objectified colonized peoples in Africa is correct and that photographs, like perspectival paintings before them, can just as easily be said to have objectified observers. It contends that the traffic in images under colonial rule served the colonial project in Africa, alongside not only guns and steamships, but radio, newsreels, presses, and carbon paper.

Keywords: photography; colonial administration; Africa; representational encounter; perspectival paintings; colonized people

Chapter.  14280 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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