Gareth Owen • Photomonitor

Friday, 30 June 2017

“The theme of Orientalism, notwithstanding a plethora of critical reflections, continues to provide a framework for critiques of power. Deploying Orientalism to the field of photography, Ali Behdad, in a conceptually stimulating and suitably illustrated book entitled Camera Orientalis: Reflections on Photography of the Middle East, builds a multi-textured argument about the relationship between photography, the Middle East, and Orientalism. The study shows how and why ‘Orientalism matters’ in thinking about photography in/of the region. The early ‘science’ (and later, contemporary art) of photography is linked, by way of a range of examples from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-2000s, to the politics and industry of exoticism.” Shireen Walton • Trans-Asia Photography Review

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