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TO SEE IS TO KNOW: POSTCARDS FROM FRENCH WEST AFRICA AND THE PRESENTATION OF COLONIAL PROGRESS, 1900-1918

JAMA: #Postcards production began around the 2nd half of the 19th century & became a useful medium for transmitting images of other #peoples, events, & places by travellers, explorers, colonizers, settlers, & collectors. Personal #photographs have sentimental values whereas postcards, on the contrary, have commercial or exchange value.

The #missionary influence was present in his numerous postcards depicting ‘#fetish’. 

Various forms of media, such as #travelliterature & #guidebooks, quickly became vehicles for the dissemination of the colonial project, but postcards from the colonies quickly became the ideal medium for the translation of colonial achievements for the #French population.


Postcards were 1st suggested by Emmanuel Herrmann, an #Austrian economics professor & in October 1869 the 1st postcards went into production. 

Collecting postcards became fashionable soon after they found their niche in European life. Even #QueenVictoria starting her own #collection.

#Africanphotographers began working to reverse the pictorial objectification of Africans in the mid-20th century. This was most evident in the work of the #Malian photographers #SeydouKeïta & #MalickSidibé.


In 1962, 2 years after #Mali’s independence from #France, Keïta was asked to be the country’s official photographer. 


From 1860 until 1910 Americans enjoyed a new kind of printed media: the #advertising card. #Illustrations on advertising cards & postcards disseminated ideas about African Americans being naturally— & justifiably— linked to the land, its labor, & its products.


Ultimately, the images featured on advertising cards & postcards served to narrate & promote the ideological re-association of blacks with land & labor. 


The American economy was greatly marred by panics & depressions during the latter part of the 19th century, with depressions occurring in the years 1873-1878, 1883-1885, & 1893-1895.12 It is no coincidence that these depressions coincided with a profuse production of racist advertising cards. 

Whites were hungry for order, & creating images of subservient, laboring black figures satiated that appetite. 


European colonialism was essentially a rape tour. White men colonized Africa, #Asia, #Australia, & #TheAmericas, invading villages, ripping families apart, molesting #children, & raping both women & men. They were having the time of their lives, even creating postcards depicting their sexual exploits worldwide. 


Today, rape during the colonial years has been replaced by sex tourism. Travelers from Europe visit “exotic” places in quest of prostitutes & sex with innocent children.— Arnold Burks (Medium), Meghan Brooke, (Strange Fruit:), Agbenyega Adedze (Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa

& AAH), Julianne Boreysky

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i.c.: Seydou Keïta, Edmond Fortier, Lesley A. Sharp, Pinterest, Unknown, IG Mzle_le, The_UrbanHistorian

Source:

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WARNING !!! SOME OF THESE IMAGES CONTAIN NUDITY AND MAY CAUSE UPSET

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