2. Photography and Colonial Language
2.1. Define Colonialism
2.3. Kodak Advertisement
2.4. “Wounded Lion” by Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore
3. Contemporary Photography: Decolonizing by Challenging Anthropocentrism
3.1. Define Anthropocentrism and Decolonization
- Rediscovery and Recovery. This is where one rediscovers their culture by connecting with what remains.
- Mourning. This step involves grief and anger. Laenui notes that lashing out may be part of this stage.
- Dreaming. This is where the new possibilities of a different social order are imagined. Laenui poetically likens this phase to a fetus developing in the womb.
- Commitment. In this stage, a mission statement and/or clear direction forward is established. It is essential that this commitment comes from a consensus among the colonized people.
- Action. This is the last step where actions are taken. Laenui writes “The responsive action is one for survival. The action called for in the fifth phase of decolonization is not a reactive but a proactive step taken based on consensus of the people” (Laenui 2000, p. 158).
3.2. We Animals
3.3. Allowed to Grow Old
3.4. Thirty Times A Minute
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Recently there has been a push from photographers, historians, and scholars to remove this language and replace it with more accurate descriptions. In particular, the terms “master” and “slave” have received quite a bit of attention. Here are three examples.
Language usage that shapes meaning has been widely researched through different academic lenses in the fields of business, computer science, philosophy, psychology, marketing, and sociology. Within photography, Andy Grundberg offers a clear summary of how structuralist linguistic theory has shaped postmodernism (Grundberg 2019, p. 245).
James Ryan also discusses Dugmore’s photography in his essay “Talking Pictures: Interviews with Photographers Around The World” (Ryan 2000, p. 214–15).
In Decolonizing Methodologies, Linda Tuhiwai Smith succinctly explains “… colonialism is but one expression of imperialism” (Smith 2021, p. 23).
In this context, the terms “borrowing” and “applying” are attributed to an insight by Dr. Nik Taylor (Personal communication, 30 March 2023).
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Johnstone, M.S. Decolonizing Photography. Arts 2023, 12, 140. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12040140
Johnstone MS. Decolonizing Photography. Arts. 2023; 12(4):140. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12040140Chicago/Turabian Style
Johnstone, Mary Shannon. 2023. "Decolonizing Photography" Arts 12, no. 4: 140. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12040140