Orientalist Photography

The Orientalist Photography Website :

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Orientalist Photography Collection was created out of one individual’s efforts to preserve valuable historical information about the effects of Imperialism and Colonialism on the Arab world and make it a ccessible to all peoples. The archive houses five thousand photographic images and is still growing. It is a resource for present and future generations to learn from so as not to welcome or encourage Colonial Imperialism. This collection is an eye witness account of the effects of the western suppression of the Arab countries and people by the Turkish, French, English and Italians, all driven by self interest and exploitation.
The collection includes late nineteenth century and early twentieth century architecture in Arab cityscapes and natural landscapes. The photos bear witness to the scars left by the Ottoman empire , French and English. The collection includes postcards and albumen photographs. The majority of the albumen photos where taken by professional photographers, including the Zangaki brothers, Pascal Sabah and Lehnert & Landrock.
Orientalist photography (and painting) was born out of the westerners’ desire for entertainment and amusement. It capitalizes on portraying Arabs as savages in staged settings. One section of the collection, the Colonial Harem postcards, is a testimony to this notion. The Colonial Harem postcards were created primarily by French photographers. The models for these postcards were very young girls from north Africa, primarily Morocco , Alger ,  Tunis , and Egypt . The photographs were staged to duplicate the compositions of the western orientalist painters, embedding the false conception of the uncivilized Arab even deeper in the western psyche.   
The stereo-topical photographs of the Palestinian people and their lifestyle were created to target western Christians, many of whom never traveled from their homes but were curious about the birth place of Jesus.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s