‘What a Picture Can Do’: Contests of colonial mastery in photographs of Asian ‘houseboys’ from Southeast Asia and Northern Australia, 1880s–1920s

  title={‘What a Picture Can Do’: Contests of colonial mastery in photographs of Asian ‘houseboys’ from Southeast Asia and Northern Australia, 1880s–1920s},
  author={Claire K Lowrie},
  journal={Modern Asian Studies},
  pages={1279 - 1315}
Abstract The archives of colonial Southeast Asia and northern Australia contain hundreds of photographs of masterly white colonizers and their seemingly devoted Asian ‘houseboys’. This article analyses this rich photographic archive, drawing on examples from the Netherlands Indies, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the Northern Territory of Australia. It explores how photographs of ‘houseboys’ worked as a ‘visual culture’ of empire that was intended to illustrate and immortalize white… Expand
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