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Calling the Shots: Aboriginal Photographies by Jane Lydon


Historically, photographs of Indigenous Australians were produced in unequal and exploitative circumstances. Today, however, such images represent a rich cultural heritage for descendants, who see them in distinctive and positive ways. This book brings together researchers who are using this rich archive to explore Aboriginal history, to identify relatives, and to reclaim culture.

It reverses the colonial gaze to focus on the interactions between photographer and Indigenous people -- and the living meanings the photos have today. The result is a fresh perspective on Australia's past, and on present-day Indigenous identities. Innovative in three ways, Calling the shots incorporates Indigenous perspectives on the photographic process and especially the meaning of the photographic archive.

It also explores the history of photography in each colony, thus providing a rich and varied series of historical social landscapes. Lastly, it examines the active role played by Indigenous people in photography as a process of encounter and exchange. Contributions by Julie Gough, Jane Lydon, Sari Braithwaite, Shauna Bostock-Smith, Lawrence Bamblett, Michael Aird, Karen Hughes and Aunty Ellen Trevorrow, Donna Oxenham, Laurie Baymarrwangga and Bentley James.

About the Author
Jane Lydon is an Australian research Council Future Fellow at the University of Western Australia. She has worked in Australian heritage for twenty-seven years. Her previous books include Eye Contact: Photographing Indigenous Australians and The Flash of recognition: Photography and the emergence of Indigenous rights.

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