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Eye Contact: Photographing Indigenous Australians

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Eye Contact: Photographing Indigenous Australians Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An indigenous reservation in the colony of Victoria, Australia, the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station was a major site of cross-cultural contact the mid-nineteenth century and early twentieth. Coranderrk was located just outside Melbourne, and from its opening in the 1860s the colonial government commissioned many photographs of its Aboriginal residents. The photographs taken at Coranderrk Station circulated across the western world; they were mounted in exhibition displays and classified among other ethnographic “data” within museum collections. The immense Coranderrk photographic archive is the subject of this detailed, richly illustrated examination of the role of visual imagery in the colonial project. Offering close readings of the photographs in the context of Australian history and nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century photographic practice, Jane Lydon reveals how western society came to understand Aboriginal people through these images. At the same time, she demonstrates that the photos were not solely a tool of colonial exploitation. The residents of Coranderrk had a sophisticated understanding of how they were portrayed, and they became adept at manipulating their representations.

Lydon shows how the photographic portrayals of the Aboriginal residents of Coranderrk changed over time, reflecting various ideas of the colonial mission—from humanitarianism to control to assimilation. In the early twentieth century, the images were used on stereotypical postcards circulated among the white population, showing what appeared to be compliant, transformed Aboriginal subjects. The station closed in 1924 and disappeared from public view until it was rediscovered by scholars years later. Aboriginal Australians purchased the station in 1998, and, as Lydon describes, today they are using the Coranderrk photographic archive in new ways, to identify family members and tell stories of their own.

About the Author

\

Jane Lydon is a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies at Monash University in Melbourne. She is the author of Many Inventions: The Chinese in the Rocks, 1890–1930 and a coeditor of Object Lessons: Archaeology and Heritage in Australia (forthcoming).

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Colonialism, Photography, Mimesis. --1. This Civilising Experiment": Charles Walter, Missionaries, and Photographic Theater --2. Science and Visuality: "Communicating Correct Ideas" --3. Time Traps: Defining Aboriginality during the 1870s/1880s --4. Works Like a Clock --5. Coranderrk Reappears.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780822387251
Subtitle:
Photographing Indigenous Australians
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Author:
Lydon, Jane
Subject:
Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Australia & New Zealand - General
Subject:
Photography
Subject:
History
Subject:
Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions - General
Subject:
Photography -- Australia -- History.
Subject:
Aboriginal Australians - Australia -
Subject:
Photography-Annuals
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
2005
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
303

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Annuals
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Anthologies and History
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » World History » Australia and New Zealand

Eye Contact: Photographing Indigenous Australians
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Product details 303 pages Duke University Press Books - English 9780822387251 Reviews:
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