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Historical photography – ‘the living image of a dead thing’, in Barthes’s phrase – is often overlooked in discussions of cultural heritage decolonisation (Barthes, 1981, pp. 78-79). This paper focuses on the Robert Hart photography collection, a little-known collection of historical photographs of China accumulated by the Irishman Robert Hart during his half-century as a British imperial administrator (De Angeli and Reisz, 2017). Like many such collections, it resists easy categorisation, and sits uneasily between coloniser and colonised, Europe and Asia, native and foreign, imperial and anti-imperial. In this paper, I want to locate colonial photography within Homi Bhabha’s liminal ‘Third Space’ of hybridity (Bhabha, 2004, p. 64, pp. 159-160, p. 316 & passim) and to suggest that the plural, multiplicious histories of coloniality in both Ireland and China present possibilities for historical and curatorial decolonisation of photography beyond colonial binaries.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings: Modern Heritage in the Anthropocene: Global Symposium 2022|
|Editors||Edward Denison, Shahid Vawda|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publisher||Modern Heritage in the Anthropocene (MoHoA)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Aug 2023|
|Event||Modern Heritage in the Anthropocene Symposium - The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, London, United Kingdom|
Duration: 26 Oct 2022 → 28 Oct 2022
|Name||MoHoA: Modern Heritage of the Anthropocene Conference Proceedings|
|Conference||Modern Heritage in the Anthropocene Symposium|
|Period||26/10/2022 → 28/10/2022|
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14/12/2018 → …
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Reisz, E., 28 Oct 2022.
Research output: Contribution to conference › Paper