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92-3). Considering the tenor of his own arguments, it is not entirely clear why Ryan rejects the view, other than to say it is "totalizing", that photography is to a very great extent a "construction of discursive power" (p. 18). Where most studies of photography "fail to situate the images within their wider historical and cultural settings", the Foucauldian-inspired colonial discourse analysis, Ryan argues, omits to take the images seriously, viewing them merely as another instantiation of power relations (p.19).
It is British explorers who carried the camera with them to Africa, India, and the Pacific islands. The camera was seen, predictably, as illuminating dark places, as probing the deep recesses of the native mind as much as the landscape, and as gifting the indigenous people with what David Livingstone called the "oxyhydrogen light of civilization" (p.31,54). the scope of photography was truly imperial: as the pioneer photographer Samuel Bourne wrote in 1863. "There is now scarcely a nook or corner, a glen, a valley, or mountain, much less a country, on the face of the globe which the penetrating eye of the camera has not searched" (p. 47). Ryan rehearses the familiar argument that much of the endeavor was also to domesticate foreign landscapes (p.51), translate "unknown spaces into familiar scenes" (p.72), and render colonized territories more fruitful for commerce (p.65). The camera, accordingly, captured the advance of European civilization, an argument that Ryan encapsulates with terse descriptions of the works of British photographers in places such as Hong Kong, where the European settlements with their civic monuments were photographed as "beacons of light in an otherwise dark moral landscape" (p.67). John Lindst, who accompanied an expedition to New Guinea in 1885 as the official photographer, lovingly photographed a mission house as it offered irrefutable evidence of how "even in savage New Guinea the blessed light of the Word of God is gradually dispelling the darkness of barbarism and cannibalism" (p. 72). The camera was also preeminently the instrument for recording a nation's essence: thus the Great Wall was described by the photographer John Thomson as expressing the insularity and deep hatred of foreigners encountered in China (pp. 68-9).
Nowhere is the association between colonialism and photography more clear than in the military applications of photography. Ryan focuses on the Abyssinian Campaign of 1867-68, but British India presents perhaps a richer terrain for understanding how photography serviced the military campaigns that were from time to time launched