SANTU MOFOKENG AND DRUM MAGAZINE IN THE MAKING OF AN AFRICAN PHOTOGRAPHIC MODERNITY

AUTHOR: NWAFOR, OKECHUKWU

FROM: THE DIGNITY OF A FRENCH TEACHER: CELEBRATING PROF. JULIE AGBASIERE

Colonial stereotypical photography depicted most Africans as nude, uncivilized ‘Others’. It is common to behold visual images of nude Africans during the colonial period. One may argue that some of those nude photographs were orchestrated and systematized by the colonialists, European merchants, and/or missionaries given the fact that textile merchandizing was already commonplace in Africa by the nineteenth century. One, therefore, wonders why there was a preponderance of nude, primitive images of Africans in most photographs taken by the colonialists. This essay employs the works of Santu Mofokeng and Drum Magazine in South Africa to counter such colonial stereotypical photographs as products of deliberate and willful action. The essay argues that Santu Mofokeng’s photographic archives unveiled a photographic modernity by Africans similar to that of their European counterparts during the nineteenth century. The essay also shows how the Drum Magazine played a key role in constructing the image of the Black South African woman as one who aspires towards cosmopolitan modernity by the 1950s despite overwhelming media images of Black South African women as ‘savage natives.                                                                                                                                    

TO VIEW THE FULL CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT, PLEASE VISIT THE UNIZIK LIBRARY WEBSITE USING THIS LINK, http://naulibrary.org/dglibrary/admin/book_directory/History_International_Relations/11465.pdf

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