The Contact Zone
Power relations in visual representation of foreign lands, people, and objects
Keywords:post-colonialism, photography, Western gaze, archives, contact zone., Photography, Western gaze, Archives, Contact Zone
Since its origin, photography has had a close relationship with the manner in which discoveries have been displayed and understood by the Western world. Even if the accessibility to photographs is currently understood as a global phenomenon, the careful study of digital archives and photographic narratives of the other reveals a biased and defective gaze. Based on Marie Luise Pratt’s proposals of the “Contact Zone”, this essay reflects upon the complexities in the representation of foreign lands, people, and objects as a way to understand the historical power relationships embedded in photographic images and archives.
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