Lecture „The objective camera? The display of different ethnicities in travel photography by 1900“
29 January 2014
The lecture of Dr. Anja Burghardt „The objective camera? The display of different ethnicities in travel photography by 1900“ turned out to be a crowd puller. About 150 interested visitors followed Burghardt in WestLicht museum on the search for traces. Burghardt is Research Assistant at the Department of Slavic Studies at Salzburg University and Research Fellow at IFK International Research Center Cultural Studies.
The photographs from the National Geographic Image Collection are impressive documents of expeditions. Landscapes, cities and people of foreign countries are presented from a seemingly objective distance – as it often seems to be the case with photography.
Comparing pictures from the exhibition with western colonial imagery and colour photographs by Russian photographer Sergej Michajlowitsch Prokudin-Gorskij, the lecture explores the question how representations of people, especially of people from foreign ethnical groups, are constructed. Does a photograph exist, which leaves man, i.e. the object of the image, his status as subject?
The subject turned out to be highly explosive – the lecture evoked a lively discussion.
Photo credits: Christine Miess (WestLicht)
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