Photographing in the Safari of Lapland

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Linköpings universitet/Tema Genus

Sammanfattning: This essay is about the photographer Lotten von Düben and her photographing of the Samí people in a research expedition to Lapland in 1868 in which she took part as the expedition photographer. This expedition is taking place in the mountainous area of Kvikkjokk [Huhttán in Lule-samí]. Lotten von Düben´s husband Gustaf von Düben is a Medical doctor, Anthropologist and Professor at the Karolinska Institutet and is the head of the research expedition. Lottens´s role in the expedition is to document for her husband who has taken on his ageing colleague Anders Retzius work of cataloguing his well-recognized collection of Lapp-skulls, and in addition conducts his own research of what he refers to as “the people as such”.  The essay is also about my own personal heritage as a Samí descendent where I in particular analyze Lotten von Düben´s photographs taken of my far distant relatives, representatives of the family Granström. The aim of my research is to explore the expedition and the scenery of Lotten von Düben´s photographing, which I refer to as “Photographing in the Safari of Lapland”. Through picture analysis and based on a post-human, new materialist feminist approach, I deconstruct the very moment of photographing and image development with the aim to develop new narratives, stories which are previously not told. The picture analysis includes also photographs relating to Lotten and her photographs in the  post-safari phase, emphasizing the photography´s and the public. With an intersectional approach I also deconstruct Lotten von Düben as female photographer and the context relating to this. The essay is about imagining the activity of thinking differently and wandering and get off the beaten track. It is about skilled hands and esthetics, technical innovations, modern science and social political movements; a melting pot of phenomena’s which cannot be taken apart, but binds each other sequence through sequence. The essay is about a camera and sensitive meetings, about binary social relations, power structures and unquestioned science, about otherness and self and moving in between.

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