Challenging and Appropriating the Authority of the Colonial Photo Archive in Nigeria

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract / Description of output

In this paper, I explore how African communities with strong historical and cultural connection to colonial photo archives both challenge and appropriate their authority. Using examples from South-eastern Nigeria and drawing on my ethnographic fieldwork conducted with photographs produced in the 1910s by British government anthropologist N. W. Thomas, I examine how locals creatively engage with these images to take ownership of the archive and control its interpretation. Through this process, historical narratives that were never pictured in photographs are transposed onto colonial images of actual events, showcasing local efforts to decolonise history, address past misrepresentations and highlight the archival absences. This analysis highlights the ways in which these communities engage in decolonial practices to reclaim their history.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusUnpublished - 27 Jul 2023
EventPower: remaking selves, archives, environments

Visual History & Theory Workshop
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Duration: 27 Jul 202328 Jul 2023

Conference

ConferencePower: remaking selves, archives, environments

Visual History & Theory Workshop
Period27/07/2328/07/23

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