Orientalism is a term used by the writer Edward Said to describe the West’s depiction of “the East”, specifically Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. Said looks critically at how the Western understanding of the East is inextricably linked with imperialism. Western artists, writers and the wider media portray the East as something mysterious and romanticised whilst simultaneously infantilising “Eastern” people to justify Western domination of the region. The above portrait of two women from Bou-Saada, Algeria was taken by Swiss Photographer Jean Geiser (1848-1923). These images of North African women were printed on postcards and sold to tourists. They are presented as exotic objects of desire with erotic undertones. This image is relatively modest compared to others in which the women are scantily dressed with one or both breasts uncovered to excite the voyeuristic eye of the Western viewer. By viewing these images on this platform I hope that we are restoring some level of dignity and humanity to the people pictured.

Cherelle Belle (She/Her/I) 4046 Pins | 448 Followers

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