Eye Contact.
Photographing Indigenous Australians.

Text by Jane Lydon.
Duke University Press, Durham, 2005. 232 pp., 88 illustrations (22 duotones),

Publisher's Description
An indigenous reservation in the colony of Victoria, the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station was a major site of cross-cultural contact in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Australia. Coranderrk was located just outside Melbourne, and from its opening in 1860s the colonial government commissioned many photographs of its Aboriginal residents. The photographs taken at Coranderrk Station circulated across the western world; they were mounted in exhibition displays and classified among other ethnographic “data” within museum collections. The immense Coranderrk photographic archive is the subject of this detailed, richly illustrated examination of the role of visual imagery in the colonial project. Offering close readings of the photographs in the context of Australian history and nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century photographic practice, Jane Lydon reveals how western society came to understand Aboriginal people through these images. At the same time, she demonstrates that the photos were not solely a tool of colonial exploitation. The residents of Coranderrk had a sophisticated understanding of how they were portrayed, and they became adept at manipulating their representations.

Lydon shows how the photographic portrayals of the Aboriginal residents of Coranderrk changed over time, reflecting various ideas of the colonial mission—from humanitarianism to control to assimilation. In the early twentieth century, the images were used on stereotypical postcards circulated among the white population, showing what appeared to be compliant, transformed Aboriginal subjects. The station closed in 1924, and disappeared from public view until it was rediscovered by scholars years later. Aboriginal Australians purchased the station in 1998, and, as Lydon describes, today they are using the Coranderrk photographic archive in new ways, to identify family members and tell stories of their own.


Ordering Information
This item is currently unavailable from photo-eye, however we have located copies for you to purchase immediately through Amazon or Amazon Marketplace. We will receive credit for these orders if you use our ordering system. We will also receive credit for any other purchases you make while on Amazon's site. Thank you for supporting photo-eye!


Order through Amazon (photo-eye gets credit)     Why Amazon?
Hardbound $89.95   Amazon Price: $63.21 Save 30%   ISBN 082233559X
In Stock! Usually ships in 24 hours.
May qualify for free shipping if Amazon Prime member.

Order through Amazon Marketplace (photo-eye gets credit)
Why Amazon Marketplace?
5 New from $63.21    10 Used from $13.90  

© photo-eye, 2014. All Rights Reserved Copyrights-Trademarks Privacy Policy Staff/Hours/Santa Fe Location 800.227.6941 info@photoeye.com