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Research at St Andrews

Édouard de Saint-Ours


Research overview

My PhD dissertation explores the place of photography within the French colonial endeavour in continental Southeast Asia in the nineteenth century. Acknowledging the performative nature of photographic representation and the importance of historical and sociopolitical contexts, my thesis examines how photographs of Southeast Asian topography, peoples, and customs assisted concrete colonial efforts, whether military, religious, commercial, or scientific. I address the processes by which ideologies of power and otherness often infused these photographs, granting them ideological agency. I also consider the extent to which the medium contributed to the promotion of French rule in the region and allowed for a visual appropriation of local heritage and cultures that facilitated more palpable forms of control.


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