Imaging Freedom

Reminder! Scalar Post 1 due on Monday, March 15

Assignment 2 due on Canvas, Monday, March 29

McPherson and Oliver (attributed),
The Scourged Back, 1863, carte-de-visite.

Sojourner Truth, I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance, 1864, carte-de-visite.











Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.





















Tamara Lanier's suit dismissed in courst March 4, 2021
Agassiz's Descendants Urge Harvard To Turn Over Slave Photos











Frank Davey, Fallen statue of Louis Agassiz, Stanford University, no. 32,1906











"For nineteenth-century positivists, photography doubly fulfilled the Enlightenment dream of a universal language: the universal mimetic language of the camera yielded up a much higher, cerebral truth, a truth that could be uttered in the universal abstract language of mathematics. For this reason...Photography promised more than a wealth of detail; it promised to reduce nature to its geometrical essence. Presumably then, the archive could provide a standard physiognomic guage of the criminal, could assign each criminal body a relative and quantitative position within a larger ensemble." - Allan Sekula in The Body and the Archive

Early 20th Century California Inmantes











Alphonse Bertillon, From Indentification Anthropometrique, 1893.











Henry Pickering Bowditch, Twelve Boston Physicians and Their Composite Portrait,  c. 1894.
Henry Pickering Bowditch, Saxon Soldiers, 1894.
Displayed during the First International Eugenics Congress











The Jewish Type

Francis Galton, The Jewish Type, 1883.











Violent Criminals Composite
Alphonse Bertillon, Mugshot Card, 1914.
Francis Galton, Violent Criminals Compositie, 1885.











The New Face of America
Time Magazine, The New Face of America cover, Fall 1993 special issue.
National Geographic, The Changing Face of America - What the Average American Will Look Like in 2050, 2017.











"We are confronting, then, a double system: a system of representation capable of functioning both honorifically and repressively." - Allan Sekula
Gray Brothers, Young Zulu Warrior in fighting order and in skin kaross armed with hatchet and assegai, c. 1870s.
Zulu Mothers, late nineteenth century.











"Not only was photography to serve as a means of cultural enlightenment for the working classes, but family photographs sustained sentimental ties in a nation of migrants. This 'primal household affection' served a socially cohesive function, [Marcus Aurelius] Root argued - articulating a nineteenth-century familialism that would survive and become an essential ideological feature of American mass culture." - Allan Sekula
Chinese Family, c. 1880s.










How do we photograph "The Other?"


















Do we still use images to perpetuate false racial narratives?
Trayvon Martin, 2013
Michael Brown