Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Celluloid colony: Occluded histories of the Netherlands East Indies from moving images (1912-30)
by Ray, Sandeep, Ph.D., National University of Singapore (Singapore), 2015, 271; 10006075
Abstract (Summary)

In 1912 the Dutch colonial government began producing propaganda films about the East Indies. Hundreds of films were made across the archipelago over the next two decades, primarily for screenings in the Netherlands. The films, though championing a Dutch presence in Southeast Asia, chronicle life in colonial Indonesia and provide insight into a variety of its manifestations, including child labor, deforestation, coolie mistreatment and proselytization. Acknowledging a historiographic handicap in using film as primary source material, this thesis advocates a ‘pictorial turn’ in the study of colonial history. Based in archives and rare film clips that show hitherto under-observed aspects of the colonial encounter, combined with a cross-referencing with newspapers, books and articles from the early twentieth century, this study situates non-fiction film in the East Indies within the global context of that era. It considers the intellectual, religious and ethical ideas that may have influenced some of its pioneering filmmakers, in order to help us rehabilitate their works and insert them within colonial historical discourse.

Indexing (document details)
School: National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Department: History
School Location: Republic of Singapore
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: European history, South Asian Studies
Publication Number: 10006075
ISBN: 9781339439372
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