Session 5: Visualising the Other

In Visualising the Other we discussed the relationship between early photography and colonialism, knowledge and power. Photography as a tool for objectification and photography as a tool for Orientalism. We looked at early attempts to represent the ‘other’ and how contemporary practitioners have reclaimed their own identity.

Key words to think about:

The ‘Other’ - Objectification – Orientalism –– Colonialism – Post-colonialism – Reclaiming identity – Power & Ideology

Click on the image below for the session slides:


This week's task: A dialogue with a stranger

You are asked to record a dialogue with a stranger. This task needs to be practice based but can be any lens based media or an audio piece. It needs to represent and/or respond to the dialogue with the stranger.

Experimentation is encouraged. What medium are you going to use? Colour, Black and White? What format are you going to use? What presentation may support the portrait? Do you need to make more than one image? How did you negotiate the story with the participant?


List of relevant Photographers/Artists discussed:

Zanele Muholi (2016)

Paul Gaugin (1899) Two Tahitian Women

Edward Curtis (1903/4) The Vanishing Race

Irving Penn (1960s-1970s) Worlds in a Small Room

Al Jolson (Actor) (1886-1950)

Ingrid Pollard (1989) Seaside Series (1992) Wandsworth Heritage

Maud Sulter (1993) Sycras

Dave Lewis (1995) Responses to the Haddon Photographic Collection

Michael Cook (2009) Mother

Yinka Shonibare (2010-12) Nelson’s Bottle

Kara Walker (2014) A Marvellous Sugar Baby

Gideon Mendel (2017) Dzhangel


and some further reading:

(Ed) Behdad, A. & Gartan, L. (2013) Photography’s Orientalism. New essays on Colonial representation. Getty Foundation

(Ed) Edwards, E. (1992) Anthropology and Photography 1860-1920. Yale University Press.

(Ed) Hight, E. & Sampson, G. (2002) Colonialist Photography Imagining race and place. Routledge

Franz, F. (1951) Black skin, white masks. Editions de Seuil

Gilroy, P. (1991) There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The cultural politics of race and nation. Chicago press.

Pinder, K. (2002) Race-ing Art History. Routledge

Pinney, C. (2011) Photography and Anthropology. Reaktion Books

(Ed) Pinney, C. & Peterson, N. (2003) Photographers Other histories. Duke University press.

Pollard, I. (2004) Post cards home. Autograph

Said, E. (1976) Orientalism. Readon Publishing


Art and Empire (2015) Tate

In Visible light (1998) Museum of modern Art Oxford

The impossible science of being (1995) The photographers Gallery

Native Nations Journeys in American Photography (1998) Barbican


Inventing the Indian Richard Hall (BBC iplayer)

 There is a follow up masterclass Embodying the Other between BA Photography and BA Dance, that look at the marginalised body through performance and image making.

Further references and resources are on the end of the powerpoint slide presentation and will continue to be disseminated through  @picbod and G+ community page.