Portraits of resilience : writing a socio-cultural history of a black South African location with the Ngilima photographic collection. Benoni, 1950s-1960s.

Leiden Repository

Portraits of resilience : writing a socio-cultural history of a black South African location with the Ngilima photographic collection. Benoni, 1950s-1960s.

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Portraits of resilience : writing a socio-cultural history of a black South African location with the Ngilima photographic collection. Benoni, 1950s-1960s.
Author: Feyder, Sophie
Issue Date: 2016-05-03
Keywords: Visual history
Photography
South Africa
Urban culture
Black townships
Resilience.
Abstract: This thesis engages with the ongoing debate regarding how photographs can contribute to the writing of black South African history. In the field of South African visual history, a significant literature explores the “white gaze” that emanates from the administrative and missionary photographic archives of the colonial period. Comparatively fewer studies, however, have addressed how black South Africans pictured themselves, largely due to the presumption that black visual archives are scarce and difficult to access. This thesis draws upon previously unexplored photographic evidence from the mid twentieth century—intimate photographs found in black homes. I argue that these images constitute an alternative archive and original source of history. Such archives present a radically different perspective on black urban communities than that emanating from public photographic collections. Photographic portraiture translates how black South Africans wanted to be seen, according to their own conventions. To study everyday photographic practices is to reflect on the set of values, attitudes and ideas that influenced this exercise of self-representation. This thesis employs a variety of methods and approaches—photo elicitation, identifying patterns in poses and conventions, scrutinizing background details, and locating photographs in today’s landscape—to help unravel the historical relevance of seemingly mundane images.
Promotor: Supervisors: R.J. Ross; P. Spyer
Faculty: Humanities
University: Leiden
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/39181
 

Files in this item

Description Size View
application/pdf Cover 762.2Kb View/Open
application/pdf Full text 32.82Mb View/Open
application/pdf Title page_Tabl ... List of illustrations_Maps 490.9Kb View/Open
application/pdf General introduction 1.228Mb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 1 2.814Mb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 2 10.06Mb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 3 5.418Mb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 4 4.881Mb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 5 8.436Mb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 6 380.1Kb View/Open
application/pdf Epilogue 219.4Kb View/Open
application/pdf Conclusion 150.3Kb View/Open
application/pdf Sources and bibliography 205.4Kb View/Open
application/pdf Summary 155.1Kb View/Open
application/pdf Summary in Dutch 132.4Kb View/Open
application/pdf Vitae Curriculum 136.9Kb View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)