Disorderly categories in picture postcards from colonial Papua and New Guinea

Quanchi, Max & Shekleton, Max (2001) Disorderly categories in picture postcards from colonial Papua and New Guinea. History of Photography, 25(4), pp. 315-333.

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At the turn of the century in Melbourne, a notice typed on the verso of a postcard stated that the South Yarra Baptist Young Men's class was meeting on the following Sunday at 2.45 p.m. The card, published in the United Kingdom, was numbered 51828 in the Valentine series of Papuan postcards.1 The image, a photograph of Hanuabada village taken in the early 1880s, and the text, written early in 1900, are contradictory and constitute separate realms of evidence that invite a renegotiation of meaning, analysis, and interpretation of the relationships between images, tourism, colonial rule, and ethnographic knowing. The visual evidence suggests the postcard may have played an ethnographic, educative role in the public understanding of Papua, which had just become an Australian Territory and was not yet well known. It is also suggestive of educative roles related to mission endeavours, subimperialist ambitions and the new tourist traffic through the ports of Port Moresby, Samarai, and Rabaul.

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ID Code: 23085
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/03087298.2001.10443235
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2009 13:40
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2016 01:08

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