Coloniality and South African Photography

This essay was written in 2002.

It deals briefly with the history and state of South African photography at that time, by considering how it has been influenced by the changing relationships between and within the country, relative to its situation as a site of colonialism. Photography has from the earliest times been used both to underwrite and to challenge dominant ideologies within the country, and to appeal to a domestic and international audience. Settler photography shared with its cousins around the world, a tendency both to exoticise the native and to underwrite the mythologies of the settler community. Later, during times of more urbane challenge to the domination of a settler racial minority, photography was also used as an important vehicle to record and argue for the struggles of the oppressed. Since the ending of Apartheid, the field has become much more fluid, and the question of coloniality is woven into the more complex one of globalisation.

For a PDF version of the full text of the essay (approx 30 pages) click here: coloniality essay for web

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