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Transformed LandscapesEssays on Palestine and the Middle East in Honor of Walid Khalidi$
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Camille Mansour and Leila Fawaz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162473

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162473.001.0001

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Photography As Source Material For Jerusalem's Social History

Photography As Source Material For Jerusalem's Social History

Chapter:
(p.137) 7 Photography As Source Material For Jerusalem's Social History
Source:
Transformed Landscapes
Author(s):

Camille Mansour

Leila Fawaz

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774162473.003.0007

Most scholars see photography at best as a convenient way to illustrate their books and articles rather than as historical evidence, except perhaps as an entirely secondary source not meriting serious consideration. Beyond “mirroring” the historical event, photographs provide a window that allows the historian not simply to see history but also to see into it. The first encounters of photography with Jerusalem mirrored the dominant European historical narrative of the city, which saw it primarily as a biblical site. As an invention that coincided with the age of European colonial expansion, photography played an important role in the depiction, justification, and articulation of European colonial expansion. The claim can be made that the nineteenth-century photographic depictions of Jerusalem did not merely reflect (and shape) the European popular imagination at the time, but also how the history of the city has been written.

Keywords:   photography, Jerusalem, dominant, photographic depiction, European colonial expansion

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