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Photography, modernity and the governed in late-colonial Indonesia

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  • Creator edited by Susie Protschky
  • Format Books
  • Contributors
  • Publication Amsterdam : Amsterdam University Press, [2015]
  • Physical Details
    • 1 online resource (280 pages) : illustrations
  • ISBNs 9048523389, 9789048523382, 9789089646620, 9089646620
  • OCLC ocn910293509


  • This powerful study examines how contested notions of modernity, civilisation and being governed were envisioned through photography in early twentieth-century Indonesia when a reform programme known as the Ethical Policy was being implemented under the Dutch colonial regime. This is the first work to examine ethical ways of seeing through photography, a medium whose proliferation coincided with significant social and political change in colonial Indonesia.


  • Includes bibliographical references.
  • English.


  • Cover -- Table of Contents -- Acknowledgments -- Part I -- Governing Lenses on Ethical Policy and Practice -- Part II -- Local Lenses on Living in an "Ethical" Indies -- 1. Camera Ethica: Photography, modernity and the governed in late-colonial Indonesia / Susie Protschky -- 2. Ethical policies in moving pictures: The films of J.C. Lamster / Jean Gelman Taylor -- 3. Ethical projects, ethnographic orders and colonial notions of modernity in Dutch Borneo: G.L. Tichelman's Queen's Birthday photographs from the late 1920s / Susie Protschky -- 4. Saving the children? : The Ethical Policy and photographs of colonial atrocity during the Aceh War / Paul Bijl -- 5. Interracial unions and the Ethical Policy: The representation of the everyday in Indo-European family photo albums / Pamela Pattynama -- 6. Reversing the lens: Kartini's image of a modernised Java / Joost Coté -- 7. Modelling modernity: Ethnic Chinese photography in the ethical era / Karen Strassler -- 8. Modernity and middle classes in the Netherlands Indies: Cultivating cultural citizenship / Henk Schulte Nordholt -- 9. Say "cheese" : Images of captivity in Boven Digoel (1927-43) / Rudolf Mrázek