What we see
Following the virtual disintegration of the indigenous peoples of southern Africa by the end of the nineteenth century, anthropologists, anticipating their imminent 'extinction', were eager to catalogue the culture and physical details of these 'inferior races'. In 1931, Hans Lichtenecker set out to produce images of Namibia's indigenous people. Scientifically justified in his bid to document Namibian 'races', he produced life-casts and skin colour samples, took photographs and made voice recordings on wax cylinders. The casts and photographs now form part of the collection of the National Museum in Windhoek, while the Phonogram Archives in Berlin, Germany, retains the recorded voices. Based on the research of Dr Anette Hoffmann, What we see criticises racial stereotyping by interrogating these distorted 'scientifically generated' images.
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