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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Anthropology and Fieldwork Photography: Dorothea Bleek's Expedition to the Northern Cape and the Kalahari, July to December, 1911
Author:Bank, Andrew
Periodical:Kronos: Journal of Cape History
Geographic term:South Africa
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Anthropology and Archaeology
Women's Issues
About person:Dorothea Frances Bleek (1873-1948)ISNI
Abstract:This paper examines a collection of 158 photographs, almost all of Bushmen subjects, taken on a fieldtrip in 1911 to South Africa's Northern Cape and the Kalahari by Dorothea Bleek. The photographs were taken in Prieska Location, Prieska District, Gordonia, Kyky and the Langeberg. In 'Bantu Studies' (1936) Dorothea Bleek used her photographic record to reflect on the /Xam researches of her father (Wilhelm Bleek) and aunt (Lucy Lloyd), and to convey the sense of loss of a rich culture on the verge of extinction that her father and aunt had been able to save. The present paper presents a more complex story. It shows Bleek's Prieska Location series was motivated more by a desire to show community coherence than to show fragmentation. Furthermore, her hitherto unpublished Kalahari photographs were meant to record the culture of a relatively unseen 'tribe', and her photographs taken on farms sought to depict the poverty of 'scattered farm hands'. All in all, the paper locates Bleek's collection in broader and more comparative terms - in a way that makes a case for taking Bleek's ethnographic work more seriously. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]