Al-Quds 1854, Photography, Archaeology and Colonisation.

Author: El-Hage, Badr

Kutub Publishing





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4to, 2 frontispiece, 35 pp. of text + 139 full page photographs + 4 panoramas of which 2 are folding, publisher's original wrappers, bibliography. Index, copy in mint condition, new Tracing the origins of religious sites in greater Syria and specifically in Palestine was a major undertaking for western scholars in the 19th and 20th centuries. The use of Western knowledge to dominate and restructure what they called the Orient was evident in many fields, including archaeology and photography. Both Felicien de Saulcy, the archaeologist, and Auguste Salzmann, the photographer, expressed their belief in the accuracy of the narratives of the Holy Bible, and of the need of the return of the Jews to reconstruct their "Promised Land". Colonisation of what they described as empty land was a "civilising mission" according to politicians, archaeologists, scientists and Christian evangelists. Auguste Salzmann used photography, not only as a tool to reproduce and document Jerusalem and its monuments, but more significantly as a medium attempting to present a persuasive, visual argument. It is impossible to isolate Salzmann and de Saulcy's intentions from the cultural, religious and political atmosphere of the 19th century. The importance of Salzmann's photographs remains in their significance as visual documents in the history of western imperialism".

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