Photography highlights social constructs within each society. It represents national ideologies that unify nation states. A photograph does not necessarily do this directly, but the juxtaposition of the photographer and the subject allowed for photographs to be interpreted in that way. Photographs play an essential role in promoting a dominant group of people that represent the nation itself. This is represented by photographs that either represent the dominant group through the other, such as demeaning the other in the photograph, or representing themselves. For example, America plays a role in producing imagery of itself as a country of middle class white Americans. Meanwhile, they exhibit the other as inhumane, thus being able to see themselves as superior. The exhibitions of foreigners were done to display the wild and untouched people who were uncivilized and barbaric to the Western world. The complex ideology behind that is that there is a construct that allows for the other to be in the same space as us but will never be in the same realm. The other isn't seen as an equal because they aren't wanted as such, but they are wanted to be observed and to serve as a reminder of Western superiority. The subjects in the photographs may not be a representation of the nation itself but the way the camera is placed, the position of the subjects, and picture altogether provides a face of that nation or a face of another nation through that nation's eyes. This essay will examine the representation of the nation's self through photographs of themselves and the other, as well as representations of the other.
[...] Photography highlights social constructs within each society. It represents national ideologies that unify nation states. A photograph does not necessarily do this directly, but the juxtaposition of the photographer and the subject allows for photographs to be interpreted in that way. Photographs play an essential role in promoting a dominant group of people that represent the nation itself. This is represented by photographs that either represent the dominant group through the other, such as demeaning the “other” in the photograph, or representing themselves. [...]
[...] "Photographing the 'American Negro': Nation, Race, and Photography at the Paris Exposition of 1900." With Other Eyes: Looking at Race and Gender in Visual Culture. Ed. Lisa Bloom. University of Minnesota Press, 1999. 58-87. 2. Faris J. 1992. Photography, power and the southern Nuba. In Edwards, E. 1992. Anthropology and photography, 1860-1920. pp. 211-17, New Haven: Yale University Press in association with the Royal Anthropological Institute, London. 3. Photography's Other Histories. Edited by Christopher Pinney and Nicolas Peterson. Poignant, Roslyn, “The Making of Professional Savages.”Duke University Press. 2003. [...]
[...] The framing and cropping on this photograph is made solely to focus on the activities of the subjects in the picture. The picture literally depicts African Americans as barbaric, and animalistic. The radical behavior of the subjects suggests an inhumane aspect to their being and existence. These elements combine to form the predominant stereotype of any person of African descent to be inhumane, “savage,” animalistic, and not deserving of human citizenship. The main goal of this picture is to perpetuate stereotypes of African Americans and create an image that will resonate amongst popular audiences of what an African American may look and act like. [...]
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