The collection of essays Capitalism and the Camera explores the relationship between photography and capitalist accumulation and exploitation. Editors Kevin Coleman and Daniel James place the emergence of photography between the publication of Adam Smiths The prosperity of nations (1776) and Karl Marx 'and Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto (1848) and claims that there is an "inherent link between camera one and capitalism". Cameraone can "enable a critical understanding of capitalist conditions of production" because of its ability to reveal the "constructed aspect" of our social world. GalleryGraphics can help us recognize "political and economic structures" in our own time and hopefully also give us the opportunity to imagine new structures.
The book consists of a number of essays with different approaches, positions and reflections on the relationship of photography to capitalismn, but I choose to highlight three of the most compelling for the purpose and length of this review:
The looting of the empire
In "Towards the Abolition of Photography's Imperial Rights", author Ariella Aïsha Azoulay claims that "photography was conceptually built up by the plunder of the empire", thus suggesting that the advent of photography is closely intertwined with colonialism.
According to Azoulay, photography was essential to "collect, archive and preserve" the empire's plunder of the colonies, and it joined the imperialist ideology of "documenting and registering from an external position." In this way, photography was not only a registration, it also reproduced the extraction of natural resources and human capital within the territories of the empire.
Before the invention of photography, it was sketches and drawings that covered the need to document and register what already existed "before the eyes of the empire". Photography. . .
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