On par with the written word, photography is a potent tool of historical documentation. The advent of still picture devices, as they were crudely called during their initial days, coincided with the peak years of European colonialism. While the concept of photography is a valuable aid for a historical scholar in presenting “facts”, the prevailing prejudices and biases of the imperial powers had influenced its ultimate usage. Though, photography had to pass through the veils of imperialist prejudices, it still remains a significant medium of studying history and the mindsets of the people who made that history.
To start with, photography was employed during the 1860’s for research purposes in the so-called “racial-science”. This was an age when Darwin’s theory of evolution was revolutionizing the society. Yet, some deviant off-shoots of the theory of evolution like “social Darwinism” and “racial group selection based evolution” were gaining ground . . . Read More