Africa Forum

Landau, Paul. "Photography and Colonial Vision"

Photography and Colonial Vision

Paul S. Landau
Department of History
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut
United States

19 May 1999

(N.B. [2004]: This work has now been published in substantially revised form as "Introduction: An amazing distance: pictures and people in Africa" in Images and empires: visuality in colonial and postcolonial Africa, edited by Paul S. Landau and Deborah D. Kaspin. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002, pp.1-40. Part of the on-line material appears also in: "Photography and Colonial Administration in Africa" in the same book pp. 141-171).

Human Subsets

The Zeitgeist of the mid-Victorian age was arguably the "impulse to classify nature and man into types."1 Robert Knox, Pierre Paul Broca, John Beddoes and the Comte de Gobineau all sought to arrange, rank, and essentialize humankind. Their efforts have been treated elsewhere, but what is perhaps not so readily grasped from that literature is the relationship between classification and what Martin Jay has called "scopic regimes," or "empires" of visualization."2 At the same time that Broca and Knox were debating the purity of human genotypes, the "Company School" of painting was reducing humanity in India to visual categories in the manner of its depictions of botanical specimens. The British Preraphaelite movement similarly extolled the benefits of on-site painting of human types from nature. William Holman Hunt wrote to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, "Think how valuable pictures of the social life of the tribes of men who are in this age undergoing revolutions would be in aftertimes."3 Millais, Brown, Hunt and others would not only paint biblical scenes with "complete visual and archaeological correctness," but Hunt closely observed actual Palestinians' faces for his paintings.4

When the opportunity arose, Millais incorporated the use of Dagguerreotypes into his work, and Delacroix used photography in his. Toward the end of the 19th century, just as racial ideologues accomodated their thinking to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, photography fully took over the reportorial work of painters like Hunt and began to allow great numbers of urban people to "see" Africans living far away. The invention of the half-tone grid-system put photos in newspapers and books in 1888, and began the "10¢ magazine revolution." Pictures froze images of "primitive" people who were supposed to be disappearing in the path of the very universalizing and homogenizing forces in which viewers were safely enmeshed. David Livingstone's instructions to his brother, a photographer, transpose William Holman Hunt's ideas into the incipient scientific language of the day: he asked Charles Livingstone to "secure characteristic specimens of the various tribes ... for the purposes of ethnology."5 Unlike "exhibitions," traveling shows, and museums, photography illustrated Africa primarily by means of iconic signs, not indexical ones; like mobile displays, photography transferred "the location of analysis" back to the comfort of the metropole.6 Photography greatly increased people "in-the-know": postcards, magazines, white hunter's books, illustrated travel stories all yielded their messages in urban livingrooms and studies. The trajectory from painting to mechanical reproduction traced the shift from public display to private viewing.

Photography in Africa also reflected the rise of racial science. From the 1860s on, the concerns of physical anthropology were joined to the power of photography in order visually to "type" indigenes in Australia, Africa and Asia. A major example was Carl and Frederick Damann's Ethnological Photographic Gallery of the Various Races of Man in 1876, which adopted the use of the "mug shot" profile.7 Its cousin was the anthropometric photo, conceived by John Lamprey, which attempted to project measuring grids on bodies: examples can be seen in the pictures of bushmen reproduced in Isaac Schapera's 1930 work, The Khoisan Peoples of Southern Africa.8 In my view, the idea of a comparative science of body-parts must be seen not only in the context of criminological photography's development of physiognomic comparisons; it also reflected the elaboration of the notion of the body as a machine with interchangable parts.9 Anthropometry had limited results, however, if only because the overriding aim of colonial administration was to recognize groups of people and institute a cost-effective distance to them, not to establish a bodily intimacy.

Administration was clearly in mind during the compilation of the massive colonial study, The People of India (1868-75). The eight-volume work replaced paintings of Indian "types" with over 400 photographs and descriptions of every Indian group and caste. For Africa, Harry Johnstone's British Central Africa (1897) similarly employed photographs to demonstrate Africans' racial natures, as did countless other books of a lower profile, from photographic travel accounts to mission society publications and primers such as Dudley Kidd's 1904 book, The Essential Kafir. In each of these treatments, the traits of Africans are described as deviations from a familiar western norm, on the other side of the imagined boundary hemming in the white, male and middle class self. African "traits" also registered colonial interests, and reflected the difficulty or usefulness of administered populations.10

Meanwhile, in London and New York, mobile photographers operated in working class city slums in much the way photographers did in Africa or Asia. "Exposé" photography "brought to light" what had previously been unseen by the growing middle class. In 1890, Jacob Riis published his famous photographs of the poor in New York. Some of his pictures derived from a virtual military attack, with Riis and the police charging in, Riis firing his flash (actually in the shape of a gun), and the cops shooting their revolvers into the night air.11 The tropes for understanding Africans overlapped with such depictions of the underclass in Europe and the United States, from Walker Evans to August Sander. The camera could preserve disappearing figures wherever they were "dying out," be they old-world peddlers in New York, lower class "London types," befeathered "American Indians," or Kalahari bushmen. All these people tended also to find themselves subjected to policing and clearance. And when evangelists travelled to working-class neighborhoods to give salutory "magic lantern lectures," pictures of Africans or Polynesians would sometimes appear on screen.12 Primitives were people who, in the words of Rudolf Poech in 1910, had "stopped on a lower step of cultural evolution," a description that middle-class reformers also applied to the tavern-going European and American poor.13

No true common denominators were ever established in the pictorial conventions of "human types": despite Francis Galton's odd attempts to overlay photographs in his 1883 study, Inquiries into Human Faculty, the precision of photography undercut composite generalizations. As James Ryan has argued in his book Picturing Empire, even in a major work such as The Peoples of India, "the terms of racial classification" were confused, and they often mixed "tribe, race and caste."14 In the basement of the University of the Witwatersrand's medical school one can still find Professor Raymond Dart's "Gallery of African Faces," walls of plaster-casts that treat ethnicities as discernable biological types. In fact however skulls, facial types, and plates of photographed "types" were held together mostly by the fact of their collection. Vastly disparate human capacities, qualities and ascriptions were juxtaposed as equivalent because they were represented within the same pictorial frames, in the same type of nomenclatures, in a single kind of interface.15 Indeed the very notion of tribe was born of the same mode of collection. The equivalence of individuals within groups derived concretely from the manipulation of people in the mechanics of colonial administration, just as museums of African art derived from the possibilities of thievery in discrete periods of conquest, and animal "families" in natural history museums were assembled from kills made within particular safaris. As a result, plates of pictures of Africans or Indians often have the feel of a trophy wall in a hunter's den.

The comparison is not merely fortuitous, as we will see. For in fact, the practice of photography and the production of photographs in Africa were accomodated in the space opened up by modern firearms and big game hunting.

Shooting Types and Trophies

Susan Sontag has pointed out how photography and hunting overlap in the vocabularies of their practices. She has traced this correspondence between "shooting" and shooting to the capacious appetite of photography for "capturing" the world. Loading, stalking, aiming, cocking and shooting are all appropriate examples, and "snap shot" designated a military technique before the turn of the century. The connection between violence, guns, and camera-work in the period of the new imperialism allow us to extend Sontag's observations further.16 The photography of Africa concretely followed the western (and white South African) destruction of wild animals in Africa as well as the assertion of western control in Africa. The practice of big-game hunting and the growth of colonial photography were connected on the level of shared personnel, shared praxis, and even shared technology.

By hunting African big game, men of leisure asserted their domination of nature and by extension, the European and domination of Africa.17 Toward the end of the 19th century, hunting retreated from its openly commercial application, and began to assume the essential features of visual collection. The indexical and iconic sign of the trophy was designed by skinners and taxidermists to hide their own work; they fashioned it to look untouched. Similarly, the labor of porters, guides, and gun-bearers often fell outside the frame of vision of the narrator and his photographs, and pictures of animal carcases doubled this exclusion. In the metropole, the efforts of the middle class to represent the vanishing herds of wildlife in Africa was widely understood as unimpeachable, whether this was done with skins or with photos: as Michael Taussig has argued in another context, mimesis is in a sense the "skin" of the thing represented.18 When wild beasts had become dependent on the "stewardship of men" and lost their apparent malice, game parks were founded, and white hunters were forced to become "naturalists." They carried photographic equipment with them, and their activities came thenceforth to be understood as part of wildlife preservation. Their trophies, like Livingstone's "tribal types," became "specimens," and circulated in many of the same contexts as photographs. The collection of species accompanied the collection of human types.

The technology of the gun and the camera also evolved in tandem. The 1860s saw the perfection of the breech-loading rifle and shotgun, using chemicals enclosed in a casing with an interior striking pin, which prevented the emission of gasses into the face and hands of the user. The 1860s also saw the development of dry-plate photography. Previously, most photographers had to coat their own plates with collodion, a compound first made in Germany from ether and guncotton (cellulose trinitrate), which was the explosive result of dissolving cotton wool in nitric acid. Working with such chemicals was unpleasant, and when gelatin dry-plates became available in 1871, they found an immediate market. Within a few years, cameras like the Scovill, the Blair, the Anschutz, and the Eclipse could take faster shots.19 In gunnery, the British Martini-Henry rifle, derived from the American Peabody, set a new standard and became the favorite of white hunters in Africa from the 1890s on, while the Remington and Soper were close competitors. Repeating rifles held a series of cartridges loaded from the breech and ready for faster firing, the best makes being the Spencer, Colt, Kropatchek and Winchester.20

In all these guns, ready-made cartridges, produced by factories, left the shooter free to spend time stalking and setting up his shot. Some of the most innovative dry-plate cameras were based explicitly on the mechanism of the Colt revolver, just as cinema cameras would later draw on the machine gun.21 The founder of Eastman-Kodak, George Eastman, was familiar with guns, and he had a regular shooting box in Norfolk, Virginia. But in contrast to the ease with which the sporting traveller prepared a shot, photographing in 1870 was still a cumbersome process. Eastman for instance cancelled a visit to Santa Domingo because of the "bulk of the paraphenalia" required to take a picture. "It seemed that one ought to be able to carry less than a pack horse-load," he wrote.22 The casual traveller could carry field glasses and a gun without much difficulty, but a tripod and heavy boxes of coated glass plates were another matter.

In 1881, Eastman formed a partnership with William Walker, the first camera-maker to adopt the manufacturing methods pioneered by the gun-maker Eli Whitney in the United States, which permitted the use of interchangable parts. But as Roland Barthes suggests in describing photography's "revelatory" function, the most important developments in the industry were chemical ones.23 In 1885, the two men developed a flexible photographic medium, a paper negative film coated in guncotton, which offered twenty-four exposures. Breech-loading guns and the Kodak not only drew upon the same language, they both now operated by sealing the same nitrite plastics in cartridges.24 When one was ready to see one's pictures, one sent the whole Kodak Camera to the Eastman company, which developed the pictures and mailed everything back to the customer. The watchwords of Kodak advertisements from 1888 onward, were "caught" and "instantaneous."25 The subject was to be "caught on the fly," snagged like a fish or trapped like an animal. Eastman's first effort to describe the Kodak roll-film camera was, "You pull the trigger, we'll do the rest."26

No longer a pack-horse load, Kodaks-and subsequently Leicas and so on-fit easily into a traveller's bag. Breech-loading guns and the Kodak both kept the hands of the shooter clean. By casting this as a "reduction" of the labor necessary to "take a picture" (instead of the redistribution of that labor), Eastman's embourgeoisification of photography erased wage labor on a fundamental level. Since the amateur's brief click of the shutter was all that counted (much as the click of the trigger was enough to produce a hunting-trophy), the grammar of "taking a picture" ignored Kodak's factory workers, skilled and semi-skilled chemists, contractors, packagers, and service people, like albums of holiday photographs excised the deadweight of travel from the frame of memory.

In short, both hunting and photography in Africa were based on the principle that consumers needed only comprehend what they could kill, possess, or make visible. While lived experience in Africa disrupted this principle, colonial rule reinforced it; and most germane for our purposes, the same principle produced and reproduced the doppel-Africa (the Western discursive and imagic construction that is named "Africa") of images, and still does today.

The Image and Colonial Administration

The pagans now sprang from hiding in all directions and, with blood-curdling yells, leapt in pursuit ... From my position beside Roddie, I could not repress a shudder at the bloodthirsty and menacing aspect of this dark and savage people. How very easily they could demolish the lot of us, I thought. And yet, such is the power of the white man, when Barkie raised his megaphone and shouted "Cut!" they immediately relaxed and peacefully awaited further instructions.27

Historians are only beginning to think about how pictures informed writers and cinematographers in the colonial era, much less how they affected the practices of imperialism. Chromolithography, lantern slides, stereoscopy, photography, postcards, and the bioscope had diverse and unpredictable effects.28 The nature of the relationships among the growth of anthropology, the administration of "race" and "tribe" under colonial rule, and photography and cinema, is difficult to pin down. The general sense of the current literature is that they were contemporary phenomena, gendered, mutually constituted, and regrettable in their institutionalized forms. The most recent treatment of photography in southern Africa nonetheless complicates any easy association of picturing with colonialism. It focuses on the "haphazard" photographic traces left in Namibia by a defeated colonial power, Germany, and by a regional sub-colonial power, South Africa, and shows that "the processes of producing [visual] knowledge were very strained and ambivalent and did not necessarily feed into the colony itself."29

What is most striking, however, is the lack of an individual status for the pictured colonial subject. He or she is framed within the paradigm of portraiture, but homogenized according to the most basic requirements of colonial power in Africa. In magazines and books from the 1920s and '30s, the essential metonym for the African tribe was an adult man in authentic and customary regalia; in the same period, the notion of a traditional "tribal Africa" gelled within those administrative structures often called "indirect rule." The institution of gerontocratic patriarchy offered African societies and white colonial culture some grounds for cooperation. The ideal alliance from the colonial standpoint can be seen in the 1935 film Sanders of the River, in which Paul Robeson is the virile African chief who cooperates with Sanders, the unassuming but rock-steady District Officer. In contrast to both men, Robeson's wife is a pawn and an object of desire.30

In their book, Reading National Geographic, Catherine Lutz and Jane Collins subject the magazine's famous photographs to close analyses, and find a similar treatment of gender. Noting the famous proliferation of brown-skinned female breasts in the magazine, they compare the sexualization of women of color in the magazine to the postcards of North African "Harems" discussed by Malek Alloula. But while the particular choices made by the magazine's editors were important, the larger context for the circulation of the magazine was much more so.31 Dark-skinned colonized people with different social mores were pictured and brought home to midwestern American families in which breasts were highly sexualized things; American money then encouraged the further photography of naked brown-skinned women in cinema, postcards, and future National Geographics. Christraud Geary and Virginia-Lee Webb discuss the colonial postcard in this way.

Whether an image was made by a Senegalese criole photographer or a European, sponsors shipped scenes of the colonies to large cities and the centers of empire, where they were turned into postcards by specialized firms in Europe or by big companies in the United States ... [and] shipped back to the distant sponsors in foreign territories, [where] Westerners bought them ...32

The forces that marshalled and distributed images, were also those that propagated the dominant interpretations of what the images were taken to mean. From the 1890s through the 1930s, the Zulu "warrior," the Maasai murran, the "hunter" in Duggan-Cronin's beautiful photographs, all metonymically identified their "tribes" in various books, lantern slides and postcards. In contrast, African women usually (but not always) represented social life, work, beauty, domestic space, and other aspects of life taken to be universally gendered.33 These conventions supported the view that primitive nature of the tribal economy allowed large numbers of male workers to move (of their own free will) toward wage labor without any ill effect. The tribe as a totality would then be "developed" by men's earnings in the distinct sector of the colonial economy. The ideology of tribe ensured that there was "no formal means of acknowledging that the entity called 'customary law' had been altered," even while custom came to mean force.34 Mining and mono-cropping used corvée labor from their beginnings, and colonial economies relied on "customary" African authorities to deliver workers to them under pain of punishment.35 The impression left by the performed or photographed "tribesman" was the visual manifestation of the phony stasis of custom, which neatly concealed the dependence of whites on coerced African labor.

As the doppel-Africa hardened, the only mode of African national discourse that many authorities recognized was that reflected in the typological photograph: "traditionalism." In Swaziland, for instance, the British and South African governments foreclosed on the progressive strategies of King Sobhuza, leaving him with no choice but to emulate the frozen picture of the world of his parents.36 Tradition meant homogenization: to contest the "offices" of state elaborated by colonial administrations, some chiefs in Botswana insisted, in response, that they only had undifferentiated "tribal councillors." In Rwanda and Burundi the reduction of complex forms of patronage to Tutsi and Hutu was further essentialized into sets of physical traits, contributing a necessary precondition for the genocidal conflicts in those countries.37 In Zaïre, Sese Seko Mobuto's "authenticity" policy similarly created a political space that was of the past, disguising the origins of the Zaïrean state and nullifying debates about contemporary life.38 The nadir of the confluence between fixed images and malleable, discriminatory policies was reached in "separate development" in South Africa. Only "the tribe as a whole" might progress, so that in the official mind articulate individuals had no standing as Africans.

In those African photographs that achieved circulation, Africans were in many cases massed and, at least "on paper," organized into administrative categories: dock worker, weaver, krio, Wolof. Colonial personnel in Africa prided themselves on interior knowledge, but they took their general orders from metropolitan officials living far away, whether in Mafeking and Cape Town, or the Foreign Office in London and the colonial ministry in Paris. After the turn of the century, when the telegraph had reduced the interval of communication from sixty days to a matter of minutes, metropolitan authorities involved themselves more in their African possessions. Still, the chief task was to limit the expenditures of colonial governors. There was nothing like the culture of the telephone and electronic mail as we know it today, and European offices relied on maps, reports, and ledgers with which to organize economical policies imperfectly implemented by local officials.39 Closer to the ambit of ordinary Africans, bureaucrats in colonial capitals mediated constituencies on either side, and often saw no profit in questioning the supposed homogeneity of tribal law, custom and personality. As a result colonial and metropolitan officials sometimes ruled less over populations than paper, much like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.

It is beside this framework that we must understand the expanding swirl of visual images of "tribal types" in the public domain of the metropole. As Alan Feldman puts it, images offered "the sympathetic magic of manipulating personhood through visual replicas."40 Colonial programs operated in their sphere of influence. The allocation of schools and hospitals away from certain "tribal personalities," the severity or laxness of agricultural reforms like terracing or irrigation, the institution of tsetse fly containment programs, the writing of civil service exams and health manuals, the judicial reform of "repugnant" customs, all both constituted and were subject to the influence of the doppel-Africa. As local administrators and Africans subsequently reconfigured the shape of real praxis on the ground, official wisdom scorned hybrid African "types," ignored African cities and African townships, and deflected Africans' taxes away from Africans' education. The traffic in images under colonial rule created the appearance of immediacy, alongside the technologies of radio, newsreels and carboned reports. Most of all, as a solution to the problem of imperial rule over diverse peoples, the reduction of people to types mandated the insistence, on occasion, that the image was more real than the person.

Postcolonial African states have yet to break free of the effects of imagic constructions, of the colonial ethnicization of their subject populations.41 Moreover, the western response to brutal civil conflicts in Africa, the assumption that they are impenetrable and irrational, are also partial effects of the same set of images. Images of "types" resurface not only in genocidal conflicts, but also when post-colonial African nations go looking for tourism: if only because tourism "is an industry ... based, beginning to end, on images-images to create desire for a product which in many parts of the world, is other peoples lives."42 Even South Africa has now frozen the historic struggle against racism and phony ethnic pluralism into a tableau: a "world in one country," a rainbow nation of diversity and contrast.43 This is where we should locate visual images in Africa today: between the claims to authority of the metropole, and the frequent weakness, brutality, and local contingency of that authority; between the inheritance of the doppel-Africa in the minds of various publics, and the Africa of daily struggle, laughter, compromise, and hope.

A Common Canard

Some scholars assign great power to the Western "gaze," and even approach the position that seeing is tantamount to control. This idea derives from a strange misreading of Foucault, especially his Birth of the Prison. It is true that seeing may be an aspect or stage of control, as it was intended to be in Jeremy Bentham's proposed prison, the "Panopticon," as well as in Bentham's attempts to recognize the realities of human behavior and create a code of law in accordance with them. Seeing may itself be invasive and discomfitting, but unless action on the body of the seen is implied, seeing alone is inadequate. Action and the essence of picturing are different things. Just as Tintin outwits hostile Congolese in the frame of a comic strip, the posuban sculptures fronting Ghanaian women's cults symbolically appropriate the colonial environment (in one, a Ghanaian figure defeats a white man in a game of chess). In a basic sense the images of Tintin and the chess players work the same way, both making claims in controlled, constructed forums.44

Similarly it is sometimes maintained that photographs capture and objectify unwitting colonized "others." But photographs, like perspectival paintings before them, can just as easily be said to capture observers: the immobile perspective of the photograph cements the viewer in a single position, in Martin Jay's words, holding the eye "static, unblinking, and fixated."45 Moreover, where Africans are represented in a fixed, staged tableau, they were likely to have had some control over the production of their image. The King of Bamun in Cameroon quickly learned what the camera was for, and mastered it for his own ends, displaying himself alternately in staged poses and clothing.46 On the other hand, as we have seen, the hegemony of an interpretation corresponds with power generally. Pierre Bourdieu has argued that the very license to appreciate art--the exercise of taste--is surreptitiously indexed by status.47 In this view, the sentiment that an art object is good, and the investment of value in expropriated African art objects, are both functions of class. Class privilege determines meanings, even subversive ones. In Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), the "tribal" mask, the statuary in the Musée de l'Homme, and Edmond Fortier's photographs of semi-nude Senegalese girls, meant exactly what the mask does in Jim Carrey's lowbrow film The Mask (1997): the reverse of bourgeois refinement and exaltation of sexuality. Such examples again show that the role of images in the colonial project does not emerge from the images themselves, but rather lies in their appropriation into structures of distribution and consumption.48

Over all, I have tried to suggest here that visual iconography, and especially photography, was related to colonialism in Africa in profound but non-linear ways: that it supported a relatively small number of predictable stereotypes; that it flattened stacked and overlapping forms of identity into comparable types, which were mainly "tribes;" that it reflected the ideology that modern economies were naturally divorced from tribes; and that it created the illusion of control, and therefore facilitated the "administration," of those tribes.49 The desire to represent Africans as types of persons accompanied the use or removal of those same types. Finally, the mechanics and marketing of guns and cameras concentrated agency in similar ways, elevating claims to own the world by virtue of shooting it, and subordinating and hiding the labor necessary to the process. A political history arrayed images of the world in a widening gyre around western urbanites, first of the middle class but finally of even the poor--until political history disappeared from view.


1. Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage, 1978), 123 ff. (quote), Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1981). Return to the Text.

2. Martin Jay, "Scopic Regimes of Modernity," in Hal Foster, ed., Vision and Visuality (Discussions in Contemporary Culture, no. 2) (New York and Boston: Dia Art Foundation and Bay Press, 1989). See John Beddoes, The Races of Britain, CITATION FORTHCOMING, John Knox, The Races of Man CITATION FORTHCOMING; Sander Gilman, Difference and Pathology, Stephen Jay Gould, Mismeasure of Man; and Robert J.C. Young, Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race (London: Routledge, 1995). Return to the Text.

3. Bernard S. Cohn, Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge: the British in India (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1994); and Stuart Cary Welch, Room for Wonder: Indian Painting during the British Period, 1760-1880 (New York: American Federation of Arts, 1978). Thanks to Jock McLane. And George P. Landow, "William Holman Hunt's 'Oriental Mania' and His Uffizi Self-Portrait," Art Bulletin 64, no. 4 (1982): 647-55, quoted on p. 653 as is the following quote. See also Christopher Bayly, ed., The Raj: India and the British, 1600 - 1947 [exhibition catalogue] (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1991). Return to the Text.

4. As the great critic John Ruskin wrote, "Preraphaelitism has but one principle, that of absolute, uncompromising truth in all that it does, obtained by working everything, down to the most minute detail, from nature, and from nature only." Aaron Scharf, Art and Photography (New York: 1986), 70-1, 74; and see Van Deren Coke, The Painter and the Photograph (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1964). For Hunt, see Linda Nochlin, "The Imaginary Orient," Art in America (May, 1993): 127, cited by Ryan, Picturing Empire, 120; and Mary Coleridge, Holman Hunt (London: n.d. [ca. 1915]). Return to the Text.

5. For the development of the half-tone picture, see CITATION FORTHCOMING. Ryan, Picturing Empire, 146, citing David Livingstone to Charles Livingstone, May 10, 1858, in The Zambezi Expedition of David Livingstone, ed. J.P.R. Wallis (London: Harmondsworth, 1856), 432. Photos were also used in colonial expositions. Return to the Text.

6. Terrence Wright, "Photography," 21. Return to the Text.

7. See Ryan, Picturing Empire, 149, and Ray McKenzie, "The Laboratory of Mankind": John McCosh and the Beginnings of Photography in British India," History of Photography, 11, 2 (Ap.-June 1987). See also Elizabeth Edwards, "Representation and Reality: Science and the Visual Image," in Australia in Oxford, ed. Howard Murphy and Elizabeth Edwards (Oxford: Pitt Rivers Museum, 1988). Return to the Text.

8. Isaac Schapera, The Khoisan Peoples of Southern Africa (London: Routledge, 1930); see also Gustav Fritsch, Drei Jahre in Süd-Afrika: Reiseskizzen nach Notizen des Tagebuchs zusammengestellt. Mit zahlreichen Illustrationen nach Photographien und Originalzeichnungen des Verfassers, nebst einer Übersichtskarte der ausgeführten Routen (Breslau: F. Hirt, 1868); Ray McKenzie, "The Laboratory of Mankind": John McCosh and the Beginnings of Photography in British India," History of Photography, 11, 2 (Ap.-June 1987); Banta and Hinsley, From Site to Sight; and Frank Spencer, "Some Notes on the Attempt to Apply Photography to Anthropometry during the Second Half of the 19th Century," in Elizabeth Edwards, ed., Anthropology and Photography, 1860 - 1920 (London and New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1992), 99-107. Return to the Text.

9. Sekula, "The Body and the Archive," for the police official Bertillon, and see Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Ann Sheridan (New York: Vantage, 1979), 138; and Siegfried Giedion, Mechanization Takes Command (Oxford: OUP, 1948), and Catherine Gallagher and Thomas Laqueur, eds., The Making of the Modern Body: Sexuality and Society in the 19th Century (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1987). Return to the Text.

10. Anon., Africa Illustrated: Scenes from the Dark Continent. From Photographs Secured in Africa by Bishop William Taylor, Dr. Emil Holub, and the Missionary Superintendents (New York: Ross Taylor., 1895); and see also H.A. Bryden, Gun and Camera in Southern Africa (London: Edward Stanford, 1893), and A.M Duggan-Cronin, The Bantu Tribes of South Africa: Reproductions of Photographic Studies, 4 vols. (Cambridge: C.U.P., 1928-41). For difference as a matter of utility, see Nicolas Thomas, Colonialism's Culture: Anthropology, Travel, and Government (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1994). For Sander Gilman, see Difference and Pathology: Stereotypes of Sexuality, Race, and Madness (London: Routledge, 1985), and Sander Gilman, Health and Illness: Images of Difference (London: Routledge, 1995). Homi Bhabha has argued for the hybrity of the resulting construction of the European self, Homi K. Bhabha, "Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions of Ambivalence and Authority Under a Tree Outside Delhi, May 1817," Critical Inquiry 12, no. 1 (1985): 144-65. For Carrothers, see Jonathan Sadowsky, "Imperial Bedlam: Institutions of madness and Colonialism in Southwest Nigeria" (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins, 1996), chap. 6; and Jock McCulloch, Colonial Psychiatry and the 'African Mind' (Cambridge: CUP, 1995), chap. 5. Return to the Text.

11. This does not do justice to the muckraker's particular goals. See Jacob A. Riis, How the Other half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York (New York: Dover, 1971 [1890]). Return to the Text.

12. See James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988 [1939, 1941]); and Gerd Sander, ed., August Sander: «In der Photographie gibt es Keine ungeklartern Schatten!» (Bonn: Kunstmuseum Bonn, 1995); Sander represented not only dying provincial and "farmer types" but also industrialists and scholars as types. Paul Augustus Martin's photos are discussed in Roy Flukinger, The Formative Decades: Photography in Great Britain, 1839-1920 (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1985), 130. See also Christopher Lyman, The Vanishing Race and Other Illusions: Photographs of Indians by Edward S. Curtis (New Yrok: Pantheon Books, 1982), and Daile Kaplan, "Elightened Women in Darkened Lands: A Lantern Slide Lecture," Studies in the Anthropology of Visual Communication 10, no. 1 (1984): 61-77. Return to the Text.

13. Landau, "The Illumination of Christ in the Kalahari Desert," Representations 45 (1994), 26-40; Christopher Pinney, "Colonial Anthropology in the 'Laboratory of Mankind'," in The Raj: India and the British, 1600 - 1947, ed. Christopher A. Bayly (London: National Portrait Gallery [exhibition catalogue], 1991). Quote, Christraud Geary, Images from Bamun, 31. Return to the Text.

14. Ryan, Picturing Empire, 156. Return to the Text.

15. For more on the relationship between photography, "anthropometry" and colonial anthropology, see Christopher Pinney, "Colonial Anthropology in the 'Laboratory of Mankind'," in The Raj: India and the British, 1600 - 1947, ed. Christopher A. Bayly (London: National Portrait Gallery [exhibition catalogue], 1991); Christopher Wright, "Visible Bodies: Anthropology and Photography, 1850-1900" (M.A., S.O.A.S., 1987); the essays by Pinney and others in Elizabeth Edwards, ed., Anthropology and Photography, 1860 - 1920 (London and New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1992); and Melissa Banta and Curtis Hinsley, From Site to Sight: Anthropology, Photography and the Power of Imagery (Cambridge, MA: Peabody, 1986). The Peoples of India was compiled by John Forbes Watson and John William Kaye; see Roy Flukinger, The Formative Decades: Photography in Great Britain, 1839-1920 (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1985), 53. Grace Sieberling and Carolyn Bloore, Amateurs, Photography and the Mid-Victorian Imagination (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1986), 47, describe the effect of such pictures as similar to an antiquarian's portfolio. For the milieu of Dart's collection, see the forthcoming work of Ciraj Rassool and Patricia Hayes, esp. "Gendered Science, Gendered Spectacle: /Khanako's South Africa, 1936-37," delivered at the Gender and Colonialism conference at the University of the Western Cape, January 1997. Return to the Text.

16. See Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Dell, 1973), esp. 7. Snapping a shot meant the same thing as "to snipe," to shoot at a moving target: see the Oxford English Dictionary (1933) vol. 9, 308; and Landau, "With Camera and Gun." Return to the Text.

17. John M. MacKenzie, The Empire of Nature: Hunting, Conservation and British Imperialism (Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1988); and William Beinart, "Review Article: Empire, Hunting and Ecological Change in Southern and Central Africa," Past & Present 128 (August, 1990): 162-86. Return to the Text.

18. Michael Taussig, Mimesis and Alterity (New York: Routledge, 1993), chapter 4, and 102; and Ryan, Picturing Empire, 112 ff. Return to the Text.

19. Reese V. Jenkins, Images and Enterprise: Technology and the American Photographic Industry, 1839 to 1925 (Baltimore: Hopkins, 1975); Brian Coe, The Birth of Photography (New York: 1976). Return to the Text.

20. The reader can see Paul Landau, "With Camera and Gun," and also "Hunting with Gun and Camera," in Photographs in the Making of Namibian History, ed. Wofram Hartmann, Jeremy Sylvester, and Patricia Hayes (Cape Town and Athens, OH: Univ. of Cape Town Press and Ohio Univ. Press, 1998). Return to the Text.

21. For instance, the naturalist Carl Akeley's famous "Akeley Camera" was modeled on a turret mounted machine gun and was immortalized by the photographer Paul Strand in 1923. See Paul Landau, "George Eastman on Safari," forthcoming. For Strand's photograph, see Sarah Greenough, Paul Strand: An American Vision (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1990), 57. Return to the Text.

22. He wrote this in 1877. See James Ackerman, George Eastman (Boston: Mifflin, 1930), 78 and passim; and Elizabeth Brayer, George Eastman (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1997). Eastman had a shooting box in the 1890s. Return to the Text.

23. Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, trans. R. Howard (London: Jonathan Cape, 1982), 31. Such a remark must be understood in terms of Barthes' understanding of the photograph as a peculiarly "uncoded message," an unmediated imprint of part of the world. Return to the Text.

24. Brian Coe, The Birth of Photography (New York: Praeger, 1976), 71, 88; Peterson, Encyclopoedia, 304; and G. Eastman to W.H. Walker, 3/3/1889, Eastman House archives, Rochester, NY. Return to the Text.

25. James E. Paster, "Advertising Immortality by Kodak," History of Photography 16, no. 2 (1992): 135-9. Return to the Text.

26. Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, The History of Photography from the Camera Obscura to the Beginning of the Modern Era (Oxford: OUP, 1969 [1st ed. 1955]), 425. The Kodak "ought to be in every Christian home" Eastman wrote to a partner in 1895 (G.E. to Henry Strong, 4/11/95)). Quote: Elizabeth Brayer, pers. comm. 1994. Eastman bought a hunting lodge in North Carolina in 1897. The Kodak slogan was eventually changed to, "You push the button, we'll do the rest." Return to the Text.

27. Natalie Barkas, Behind the Camera (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1934), 183. Return to the Text.

28. See however the University of Manchester's excellent series of books, Studies in the History of Imperialism. See also Peter Marzio, The Democratic Art: Chromolithography, 1840-1910 (Boston: D. Goodine, 1979); Crary, Techniques of the Observer; A.D Bensusan, Silver Images: the History of Photography in South Africa (Cape Town: Unknown, 1966); G.A. Household, ed., To Catch a Sunbeam: Victorian Reality Through a Magic Lantern (London: Unknown, 1979); Elizabeth Shepard, "Magic Lantern Slides in Entertainment and Education, 1860-1920," History of Photography 11, no. 2 (April-June, 1987): 91-108; David Prochaska, "Fantasy of the Photothèque: French Postcard Views of Colonial Senegal," African Arts 24, no. 4 (1991): 40-47, 98; Christraud M. Geary and Virginia-Lee Webb, eds., Delivering Views: Distant Cultures in Early Postcards (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998); Paul Landau, "The Illumination of Christ;" and recent special issues of Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines, African Arts, and African Research and Documentation. Return to the Text.

29. For the professionalization of anthropology, see Henrika Kuklick, "Tribal Exemplars: Images of Political Authority in British Anthropology, 1885-1945," in George W. Stocking, ed., Functionalism Historicized: Essays on British Social Anthropology Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 59-82. Elizabeth Edwards, "Introduction," Anthropology and Photography, 6 ff.; Christraud Geary, Images from Bamun, 31; and Hartman et al., eds., The Colonizing Camera (Introduction by Patricia Hayes, Jeremy Sylvester and Wolfram Hartman, "Introduction," 7 and passim; and for missionary photos, see Rory McLachlan Bester, "Insecure Shadows: CPSA Mission Photographs from Southern Africa c. 1895-1945" (M.A., Univ. of the Witswatersrand, 1997). Return to the Text.

30. Zoltan and Alexander Korda, Sanders of the River, 1935. Return to the Text.

31. Lutz and Collins, Reading National Geographic, 115, Alloula, The Colonial Harem , passim. Sometimes Lutz's and Collins' analysis verges toward self-parody: "the centrality of the race-gender code to decisions about whose breasts to depict cannot be denied," they write, even though it would have been absurd for National Geographic's photographers to have asked Polynesian and Maasai women to cover themselves. See also Eric Savarese, "La Femme Noire en Image," in L'Autre et Nous: «Scenes et Types», ed. Blanchard et. al. (1995), 78-84. I would in fact argue that the nonsexual attitude of photographed peoples exerted a real influence on photographers. Return to the Text.

32. Christraud M. Geary and Virginia-Lee Webb, eds., Delivering Views, Introduction, 2; and see David, ed., Inventaire Générale des cartes postales Fortier. Return to the Text.

33. Limiting ourselves to bushmen in this matter, see Edwin Wilmsen, "The Real Bushman is the Male One: Labour and Power in the Creation of Basarwa Ethnicity," Botswana Notes & Records 22 (1989): 21-35, and Donna Harraway, "Remodelling the Human Way of Life: Sherwood Washburn and the New Physical Anthropology, 1950-1980," in Bodies, Bones and Behavior: Essays on Biological Anthropology, ed. George Stocking (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1988). For Duggan Cronin, see A.M. Duggan-Cronin, The Bushman Tribes of Southern Africa (Kimberley: Alexander McGregor Museum, 1942). The best discussion of the hidden gender of the "citizen" in the modern state is Carol Pateman, The Disorder of Women: Democracy, Feminism, and Political Theory (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1989). Return to the Text.

34. Terence Ranger, "The Invention of Tradition Revisited," in Terence Ranger and Olufemi Vaughan, eds., Legitimacy and the State in Twentieth-Century Africa (London: St. Antony's/Macmillan, 1993), 101-2; and see Sally Falk Moore, Social Facts and Fabrications: Customary Law on Kilimanjaro, 1880-1980 (Cambridge: CUP, 1986), 317-8, and Martin Chanock, Law, Custom and the Social Order; and Mahmood Mamdani, Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996). See also Daile Kaplan, "Elightened Women in Darkened Lands." Return to the Text.

35. Giovanni Arrighi, "Labor Supplies in Historical Perspective: A Study of the Proletarianization of the African Peasantry in Rhodesia," Giovanni Arrighi and John Saul, eds., Essays on the Political Economy of Africa (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1973), 80-236. (Since Arrighi's important essay there have been many more nuanced appraisals, and the consensus is that African laborers did exercise choice, albeit under extra-market constraints.) For "custom," see Martin Chanock, Law, Custom and the Social Order discussion (chaps. 1 and 2) of the state's imperative to see and organize space in a "synoptic" and "replicable" manner (81). Return to the Text.

36.Christopher Lowe, "Swaziland's Colonial Politics: The Decline of Progressive South African Nationalism and the Emergence of Swazi Political Traditionalism, 1910-1939" (Ph.D., Yale, 1998), 36. Return to the Text.

37. See the discussion by Liisa Malkki in Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1995), esp. chap. 2. For an excellent first step to learning about the Rwandan genocide, see David Newbury, "Understanding Genocide," African Studies Review 41, no. 1 (1998): 73-97. Return to the Text.

38. This is a close paraphrase of Jewsiewicki, "Painting in Zaire," 138-9. Return to the Text.

39. Andrew Roberts, "The Imperial Mind," in The Colonial Moment in Africa: Essays on the Movement of Minds and Materials, 1900-1940, ed. Andrew Roberts (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990), 26 ff. Robert Thornton usefully discusses the "discovery on paper" of Africans by metropolitans in Robert Thornton, "Narrative Ethnography in Africa, 1850-1920: The Capture of an Appropriate Domain for Anthropology," Man n.s. 8, no. 3 (Sept., 1983): 502-19. My discussion here is also influenced by James Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1998), especially Scott's discussion (chaps. 1 and 2) of the state's imperative to see and organize space in a "synoptic" and "replicable" manner (81). Return to the Text.

40. Allen Feldman, "Violence and Vision: The Prosthetics and Aesthetics of Terror," Public Culture, 10, 1 (Fall, 1997), 29, citing Michael Taussig, "Maleficium: State Fetishism," in Fetishism as Cultural Discourse, ed. Emily Apter and William Pietz (Itaca: Cornell, 1993). Return to the Text.

41. Mamdani, Citizen and Subject, chapter eight. There is a tremendous literature on ethnicity in Africa which I will not attempt to list here, but see for a recent and relevant argument, Bruce Berman, "Ethnicity, Patronage and the African State: The Politics of Uncivil Nationalism," African Affairs 97 (1998): 305-41. Return to the Text.

42. Elizabeth Edwards, "Photography: A Reflexive Overview from Anthropology," African Research and Documentation 68 (1995): 30. Return to the Text.

43. Ciraj Rassool and Gary Minkley, CITATION FORTHCOMING. Return to the Text.

44. Kramer, Red Fez, 210-211. Return to the Text.

45. The growth of snapshot photography might then be said to have recapitulated the tradition of 17th century Dutch painting, with its "unframed" images and lack of a "clearly situated viewer," as opposed to Italian Renaissance painting, with its narrative tableaus: Martin Jay, "Scopic Regimes of Modernity," in Hal Foster, ed., Vision and Visuality (Discussions in Contemporary Culture, no. 2) (New York and Boston: Dia Art Foundation and Bay Press, 1989), 7, citing Norman Bryson, Vision and Painting: The Logic of the Gaze (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), 94, and Svetlana Alpers, The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), 138; and see Suren Lalvani, Photography, Vision, and the Production of Modern Bodies (Albany: SUNY Press, 1996), 22. Return to the Text.

46. See Nicolas Thomas's discussion of photos of Andaman Islanders in Colonialism's Culture: Anthropology, Travel, and Government (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1994), chap. 1; and my discussion of the photographs of Osa Johnson in Paul Landau, "With Gun and Camera in South Africa: Constructing the Image of Bushmen, ca. 1880- 1940," in Miscast: Negotiating the Presence of Bushmen, ed. Pippa Skotnes (Cape Town: South African National Gallery, 1996), 141-165, and Paul Landau, "George Eastman on Safari: The Camera and the Lumbwa Lion Hunter in Tanzania, July 1928" (forthcoming). See Christraud Geary, Images from Bamun. Two of my Nigerian students pointed out this feature (its Hausa evocation) of several of King Njoya's full-dress photos, which Geary does not remark. King Njoya arguably understood the camera's eye in a complex way, as sometimes public and formal, and at other times as private and candid: as Geary points out, the king several times touches his wife on camera. See also Jan Vansina, "Photographs of the Sankuru and Kasai River Basin Expedition Undertaken by Emil Torday (1876-1931) and M.W. Hilton Simpson (1881-1936)," in Anthropology and Photography, 1860 - 1920, ed. Elizabeth Edwards (London and New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1992). Return to the Text.

47. In other words, it is not only that taste indexes status, but that status defines good taste through such indexing. See Pierre Bourdieu, Distinctions: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, trans. Richard Nice (London: Routledge, 1986), and Pierre Bourdieu, et. al., Photography: A Middle Brow Art, trans. Shaun Whiteside (Cambridge: Polity, 1990 [1965]). Interestingly, in critiquing the populist amalgamation of "ethnic art," Phillips and Steiner come dangerously close to sneering at the hoi polloi in Unpacking Culture (see the commentary on p. 18). Return to the Text.

48. Marilyn McCully, "The Fallen Angel? Review of The Picasso Papers, by Rosalind E. Krauss," New York Review of Books (April 8, 1999): 18-24; and Anne Baldassari, Picasso and Photography: The Dark Mirror (Houston: Houston Museum of Fine Arts / Flammarion, 1997), also cited by McCully; and see Philippe David, ed., Inventaire Générale des cartes postales Fortier (Saint-Julien-du-Sault: Fostier, 1986-88). In Otto Preminger's film Bunny Lake is Missing a tribal mask signifies sexual voyeurism. Return to the Text.

49. Alan Trachtenberg has argued more concretely that photographs as a mode of record-keeping were important to the expansion of the United States in the American West, in The Incorporation of America (New York: Hill & Wang, 1982), 20, cited by Rosalind Krauss in her essay, "Photography's Discursive Spaces," in The Originality of the Avant Garde, 133. I have omitted the photographing (and imagining, and painting) of landscapes from this discussion, but one should consult Ryan, Picturing Empire, chaps. 1 and 2, and see the forthcoming work of Hermann Wittenberg. Return to the Text.

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