The Portrait and the Colonial Imaginary: Photography between France and Africa 1900-1939

Research output: Book/ReportBook


French colonisers of the Third Republic claimed not to oppress but to liberate, imagining they were spreading republican ideals to the colonies to make a Greater France. This book explores the various roles played by portraiture in this colonial imaginary.
Anyone interested in the history of colonial African will have encountered innumerable portraits of African elites produced during the first half of the twentieth century, yet no book to date has focussed on these ubiquitous images. The author analyses the production and dissemination of such portraits and situates them in a complex and conflicted field of representations.
Moving between European and African perspectives, this book blends history with art history to provide insights into the larger processes that were transforming the French metropole and colonies during the early twentieth century.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeuven
Number of pages247
ISBN (Print)978 94 6270 215 8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020

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