Contesting Visibility. Photographic Practices on the East African Coast


(Heike Behrend:
Contesting Visibility. Photographic Practices on the East African Coast,
June 2013, 266 p., 28,80 €, ISBN 978-3-8376-2456-4)

Since the introduction of photography by commercial studio photographers and the colonial state in Kenya, this global medium has been intensely debated and contested among Muslims on the cosmopolitan East African coast. This book does not only explore the making, circulation, and consumption of popular photographs, but also the other side, their rejection and obliteration, an essential aspect of a medium’s history that should not be neglected.
In a fragmented historical perspective, Heike Behrend seeks to complement, decenter, and counter the history of photography as it has been told by the West and to narrate another history beginning with preceding local media such as textiles and spirit possession.

Heike Behrend worked as a Professor of Social Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Cologne, Germany. She is retired now and lives in Berlin.

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