n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - "[D]iese orientalische Märchenwelt vor meinen Augen" : visualität und koloniale Konstruktion in Frieda von Bülows Reiseberichten aus Deutsch-Ostafrika




Images of a country and its inhabitants are never objective reflections of reality but constructions driven by the onlooker's subjective perspective or specific way of looking and, in the case of Frieda von Bülow (1857-1909), her ideological views. Taking a postcolonial approach, this article investigates the visual rhetoric in Bülow's picturesque travel writings about the colony of German East Africa around 1890. Particular attention is paid to the colonial gaze represented in these writings, the images of landscapes and ethnicities presented, and the ways in which their visuality contributes to legitimizing colonial hierarchies and to the construction of German national identity as a colonial power in the late nineteenth century.


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