Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Orientalist Photography

Orientalist Photography
The collection includes late nineteenth century and early twentieth century architecture in
Arab cityscapes and natural landscapes. The photos bear witness to the scars left by the
Ottoman empire , French and English. The collection includes postcards and albumen
photographs. The majority of the albumen photos where taken by professional
photographers, including the Zangaki brothers, Pascal Sabah and Lehnert & Landrock.

Orientalist photography (and painting) was born out of the westerners' desire for
entertainment and amusement. It capitalizes on portraying Arabs as savages in staged
settings. One section of the collection, the Colonial Harem postcards, is a testimony to this
notion. The Colonial Harem postcards were created primarily by French photographers.
The models for these postcards were very young girls from north Africa, primarily Morocco
, Alger, Tunis, and Egypt .. The photographs were staged to duplicate the compositions
of the western orientalist painters, embedding the false conception of the uncivilized Arab
even deeper in the western psyche.

The stereo-topical photographs of the Palestinian people and their lifestyle were created
to target western Christians, many of whom never traveled from their homes but were
curious about the birth place of Jesus.

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