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Durham e-Theses
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The Contest of Representation: Photographic Images of Ethiopian Women in National Print Media, Development Aid Organisations and Galleries

BELETE, ROMAN,YISENI (2014) The Contest of Representation: Photographic Images of Ethiopian Women in National Print Media, Development Aid Organisations and Galleries. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The repetition of particular photographic narratives may homogenise women from the non-European world, particularly those from sub-Saharan Africa, who are often portrayed as victims of drought, famine, war and conflict. The research critically analyses the historical and contemporary construction of female bodies in Ethiopia through photographic images. It provides a novel overview of the least explored representational practices, by comparing photographic works commissioned by aid and development organisations with those produced by Ethiopian photographers. It specifically considers how far stereotypical representations are being challenged and deconstructed in contemporary practices of photography in Ethiopia.

This project assesses over seventy photographic images, ranging from picture postcards to photojournalism and photo-essays, and seeks to critically interpret them from their site of production to their final presentation in different modes of circulation (Rose, 2003). It triangulates the meanings of images through developing an understanding of the specificity of documentary photographs, the photographers’ intent and the demands of institutions, including the national print media, development aid organisations and galleries.

The research argues that some Ethiopian photographers use the photographic image as a medium to confront stereotypes in picturing poverty, drought, famine, malnutrition and HIV/AIDS, there by contesting narratives about Ethiopia and Ethiopians in the process.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Representation, gender, photographic image, stereotypes,feminist geography, development aid, alternative narrative
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 May 2014 14:39

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