Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
0
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Archival photographs and social memory in Sarawak

1,823

Published on

Presentation held at the Borneo Research Council Conference, July 2010

Presentation held at the Borneo Research Council Conference, July 2010

Published in: Art & Photos, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,823
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
26
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide























  • Transcript

    • 1. Memories of Sarawak Archival Photographs and Social Memory in Sarawak Christine Horn, Swinburne University Of Technology, Melbourne, Australia Does anybody out there know the man in this picture? If you Kuching came to attend, including Tun Jugah. This brings us to don’t, it is Datuk Temenggong Oyong Lawai Jau from Long San, one of the main issues of archival photography: Their content one of the most well-known personalities among the Orang Ulu may be very obvious to some, but without documentation and communities. He was so famous that when he passed away, his descriptions it may mean very little to others. This is the main funeral lasted eight days and all the important dignitaries from point of this presentation, and of this project.
    • 2. Temenggong Datuk Oyong Lawai Jau, undated Does anybody out there know the man in this picture? If you Kuching came to attend, including Tun Jugah. This brings us to don’t, it is Datuk Temenggong Oyong Lawai Jau from Long San, one of the main issues of archival photography: Their content one of the most well-known personalities among the Orang Ulu may be very obvious to some, but without documentation and communities. He was so famous that when he passed away, his descriptions it may mean very little to others. This is the main funeral lasted eight days and all the important dignitaries from point of this presentation, and of this project.
    • 3. ‘…Pictures can mean almost anything. The limits placed upon our Malaysia, which is one of the oldest museums in South East interpretation in attributing meaning are dependent mainly upon our Asia. It was been established in 1988 by the ‘White Rajah’ James individual psychological, social, and cultural histories.’ (Worth,1981, Brooke, with the encouragement of Alfred Russel Wallace. pp.181) The photos in this project are part of the Photographic Anyone who has done research in Sarawak most probably has Archive of the Sarawak Museum in Kuching, Sarawak, been in contact with the Museum.
    • 4. Do you know this man? Gawai Nulang, Long Teru, Tinjar, May, 1975 The man in this picture is Junaidi Bolhassan, who was the ethnic groups in Sarawak including Kenyah, Kayan, Iban, photographer of the Sarawak Museum for at least 30 years and Bidayuh, Berawan, Penan, Punan, travelling deep into the who probably took most of the photos used in this project. This interior of the state for weeks at a time. Sometimes he was is hard to say with certainty, as the name of the creator is only documenting particular events, but mostly the every day life in noted on some of the images. He took pictures of many of the the kampongs and longhouses was subject to his attention.
    • 5. Junaidi Bolhassan, Photographer Gawai Nulang, Long Teru, Tinjar, May, 1975 The man in this picture is Junaidi Bolhassan, who was the ethnic groups in Sarawak including Kenyah, Kayan, Iban, photographer of the Sarawak Museum for at least 30 years and Bidayuh, Berawan, Penan, Punan, travelling deep into the who probably took most of the photos used in this project. This interior of the state for weeks at a time. Sometimes he was is hard to say with certainty, as the name of the creator is only documenting particular events, but mostly the every day life in noted on some of the images. He took pictures of many of the the kampongs and longhouses was subject to his attention.
    • 6. The archive ✤ photographs dating back from the early 1900s ✤ Glass slides, medium format black and white images, 35mm film, dia slides, digital photography ✤ cataloguing and organisation of information on occasion, previous use, creator and subject matter of the original material The earliest photos in the archive are glass slides from the early system. Most photographs are filed under categories according 1900’s. There are black and white medium format images, to ethnic group or location; some examples of this are the 35mm film negatives and prints, slides and digital images. In Kenyah/Kayan photos used in this project, two ethnic groups spite of being constantly accessed by researchers and museum that share a similar geographical area and who therefore and staff, the archive has no centralised catalogue or indexing for reasons of cultural similarities are often grouped together.
    • 7. The archive ✤ use of digital storage and digital photography at the archive ✤ Approximately 1000 - 1500 images per ethnic group ✤ Medium format images between 1949 - 1978 ✤ storage and conservation - material decay For this project, medium format black-and-white photographs Longhouses’ or JF–Agriculture, Husbandry & Fishing’. Each between 1951 and 1978 are used. This makes up all of the medium format negative booklet has a corresponding A4 folder material on these groups using medium format photos, around holding contact prints for easier review and other remarks 1.500 images. The negatives are kept in booklets with 100 to 150 written on the side, although it is unclear who made these photos, named according to subject matter, such as ‘JC–Kenyah comments. Conservation is an issue due to the tropical climate.
    • 8. Scope ✤ images between 1949 and 1978, with the background of Japanese occupation, cessation of Sarawak from Brooke to British colonial rule, Merdeka and Sarawak becoming part of the Federation of Malaysia, Emergency and Konfrontasi When facing the task of making sense of the photographic groups of around together around 200.000 members, and none material, it became clear at the outset of the project that more of the photos were taken earlier than 1949, the assumption was and especially more consistent details of the content, the that it could be possible to find witnesses and informants that location and circumstance of the creation of the photos needed remember the people and places in the pictures, and to be collected. Since the photos are covering small ethnic preliminary field work has shown that this is indeed the case.
    • 9. Digitisation ✤ development of best practise including technical issues such as image format, resolution etc. ✤ searchable keywords and descriptions ✤ complete set of metadata ensures transfer of information with image and for copyright purposes Working with the material of the archive requires first of all the sizes and questions of colour modes – is the sepia tone of the construction of a searchable archiving system. A good practise images, caused by ageing, part of the object or can the negative guide for digitisation needed to be established, based on be scanned in black and white format? Fortunately, many very feasibility considerations such as slower scanning speed at well documented projects provide advice and expertise, as higher resolutions, problems of digital storage at higher file many museums are now digitising their collections.
    • 10. After much initial trial and error, Adobe Lightroom was different file sizes, rate them and many other helpful features. identified as the most suitable software for the digital database. Metadata is searchable, and the images can even be modified to It enables the user to add metadata such as descriptions and some extent without having to use another image processing keywords to the images, compare photos, export them at software. The software is affordable and easy to use.
    • 11. Investigation ✤ collecting all available information in a systematic manner, and using it for cross-references ✤ taking the images to their suspected place of origin ✤ mapping and tracing the itinerary of the photographer The only information consistent on all the negatives is the date. buildings or well known personalities provide additional hints. Digitising the images and collecting the dates and all available Is the location ascertained, a visit to the community brings to information in a database makes it possible to trace the itinerary light a wealth of information on the photos themselves and their of the photographer, who would use on river travel. This makes content as well as specific traditions, legends and oral history, it possible to retrace the route of the photographer. Specific tales of genealogy and the old religions and much else.
    • 12. Locations This is a map of the overall area the images are located - the they have belonged to their own village. In many cases their Baram & Tinjar river system in Sarawak, near the border to own photographs have been destroyed in longhouse fires and Brunei. Tracing all dates and all available locations, the route of photos of their ancestor were burned. In the preliminary the photographer can be traced accurately. The communities fieldwork, many families asked for copies of the photos, which often have vivid memories of the persons in the images, should were made available to them.
    • 13. Locations This is a map of the overall area the images are located - the they have belonged to their own village. In many cases their Baram & Tinjar river system in Sarawak, near the border to own photographs have been destroyed in longhouse fires and Brunei. Tracing all dates and all available locations, the route of photos of their ancestor were burned. In the preliminary the photographer can be traced accurately. The communities fieldwork, many families asked for copies of the photos, which often have vivid memories of the persons in the images, should were made available to them.
    • 14. Field work ✤ who is interested, and who knows what? Differences in age group, social role or position and gender ✤ much regional variation - recognition of people, objects and occasions only in the immediate social group ✤ memory, but no nostalgia Worth states that ‘…meaning cannot be inherent within the sign what memories do they bring back, and who is able to access itself, but exists rather in the social context, conventions, and rules them? Are the images part of the communal self-identification within, and by which, articulatory and interpretive strategies are with a specific ethnicity, or are they irrelevant from the moment invoked by producers and interpreters of symbolic forms’ (Worth, the thing they depict is no longer present, like an object replaced 1981, pp.166). In the communities, what do the photos evoke, be a new technology or a person deceased?
    • 15. Research ✤ layers of knowledge: ✤ distant knowledge - already forgotten ✤ items of special interest - people or objects that have become unusual ✤ obvious or self-evident knowledge ✤ misinterpretation All the memories the images evoke are encased in modes of and comments are caused by things that are curious or have enunciation. Often, the images contain objects or events that become rare but are still familiar, or familiar faces. The fact that seem to be so common to the viewer as not to need any these things are familiar but rare and thus unusual make them explanation. In other cases, the informer may not comment on the cause for much discussion when the photos are presented to an image because they just do not know about it. Most reactions a community, and this can also lead to misinterpretation.
    • 16. Analysis ✤ influence of the photographer ✤ view of the ‘subject’ ✤ technology and equipment ✤ anthropological standards & political considerations at the time of creation of the photos When trying to interpret the photographs, other factors need to logical photography was supposed to be like. It also reveals be considered, like the identity and ethnicity of the objectives behind the commissioning of the images and thus a photographer and technology used in the creation of the distinct bias that misleads the viewer. The Museum as a images. In some instances, the photos are staged or composed, government institution and the implications of this also must be which points to a presupposed perception of what anthropo- investigated and put into context with the content of the images.
    • 17. Future directions ✤ use in exhibitions and publications ✤ crowd sourcing, including location mapping ✤ online database for researchers ✤ personal use within the families and communities Some of the applications of this research are very communities are actively engaged in online discussions on their straightforward and include the use of the photos in exhibitions own ethnicity. This could include the option of being able to and publications, the ease of use for future researchers and the map a location on a satellite map. However, the images should museum staff. As a part of the information gathering, crowd also be available to the families and communities themselves, sourcing has been taken into consideration, as the local since most of the time they would not have ever seen them.
    • 18. Analysis ✤ communal memory and ethnic identity - changes and developments ✤ customs and traditions: what is preserved, what is discarded, and what is added? The museum photographs in this project are not only tools for media and technology. They bear witness to changes in society, scientific documentation but are analysed as historical but also to all that remains constant. They offer an opportunity documents in their role within a society with a strong emphasis to discuss identity in terms of shared traditions and customs, on re-appropriation, transferral of ownership and various and they also can serve as ways to salvage and archive and, possibilities for the future including those that arise with new eventually, repossess and recover.
    • 19. Thank you! Thank you! Almost all images in this presentation copyright of the Sarawak Museum

    ×