Build and Destroy
Standard delivery 3 to 7 days
Publication date : 2021/12/03
Weight 1220 g / Dimensions 26 x 30 cm / 220 pages / en
Independence Days 1934-1975 features archival photos culled from archives of the first Independence Day ceremonies of various Asian, Middle Eastern, and African nations. A key feature of the work is that the photos are sourced primarily from public archives in the Asian and Africa countries themselves.
The book juxtaposes and arranges 234 photographs sourced over ten years of research in 40 archives, including many from rare and at-risk collections. Independence Days is an investigation of the role played by photography in mid-twentieth-century decolonization processes.
The first Independence Day, leading up to and including the formal ceremony, unfolds as a series of highly codified rituals and elaborate speech acts enacted across public and elite spaces. The swearing in of a new leadership, the signing of relevant documents, the VIP parade, the stadium salute, the first address to the new nation, is all supervised and orchestrated by the departing colonial power. The photographic material is strikingly similar despite disparate geographical and temporal origins as it reveals a political model exported from Europe and in the process of being cloned throughout the world. The photo installation emerges as a typology, poised somewhere between a grid and a storyboard. Although a great deal of research has been done on both the colonial and the post-colonial eras, this project aims to introduce a third, surprisingly neglected element into the debate – that 24 hour twilight period in between, when a territory transforms into a nation-state.