Policing the image: the Breakwater prison albums, Cape Town, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

Rizzo L (2016)
SOCIAL HISTORY 41(3): 285-303.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
This article is concerned with photographic albums produced at the Breakwater Convict Station in Cape Town in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While examining the extent to which this photographic project resonated with the global proliferation of Bertillonage and was part of an attempt to professionalize the penal system at the Cape, it argues that the photographs were the product of a distinct local and historically contingent negotiation of how photography would help constitute a particular subject of rule: the modern category of the prisoner. The article offers an analysis of the albums' complicated position in the archive that circumvents a facile blending of these images/objects into the narrative of a colonial disciplinary regime of vision. Instead, it pays attention to the archival, semantic and aesthetic ambiguity of the photographs - and the ways in which colonial prison and police institutions attempted to contain these ambiguities - in order to reveal the intricacy of the imprisoned subjects' growing exposure to an environment marked by the technological regulation of time, space and the body.
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Rizzo L. Policing the image: the Breakwater prison albums, Cape Town, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. SOCIAL HISTORY. 2016;41(3):285-303.
Rizzo, L. (2016). Policing the image: the Breakwater prison albums, Cape Town, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. SOCIAL HISTORY, 41(3), 285-303.
Rizzo, L. (2016). Policing the image: the Breakwater prison albums, Cape Town, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. SOCIAL HISTORY 41, 285-303.
Rizzo, L., 2016. Policing the image: the Breakwater prison albums, Cape Town, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. SOCIAL HISTORY, 41(3), p 285-303.
L. Rizzo, “Policing the image: the Breakwater prison albums, Cape Town, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries”, SOCIAL HISTORY, vol. 41, 2016, pp. 285-303.
Rizzo, L.: Policing the image: the Breakwater prison albums, Cape Town, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. SOCIAL HISTORY. 41, 285-303 (2016).
Rizzo, Lorena. “Policing the image: the Breakwater prison albums, Cape Town, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries”. SOCIAL HISTORY 41.3 (2016): 285-303.
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