Vizuální reprezentace království Benin a jeho vládce: od období britské koloniální vlády až po současnost
Visual representations of the Benin Empire and its king: form British colonial rule up to present
Languages of publication
The study presents the image of the Benin Empire and its king through photographs and artworks that contribute to the construction of social reality and have the ability to capture cultural changes visually. Visual representations of the Benin Empire presented in this study encompass particularly the period from British colonial dominance to these days. Depicting the Benin king has been a frequent motif used in traditional as well as contemporary art (bronze sculptures, relief plaques or oil paintings). The study also analyses photographs taken by colonizers, court photographs and anthropologists during their research at the palace courtyard. Special attention is paid to the continuity in Benin bronze artefact creation and the development of contemporary Nigerian art – works and artists who continue the traditional depiction of the Benin king enriching it with their specific view of the world. The analysis also focuses on photographs seen as symbolic systems capturing the colonial and post-colonial situation – historic events relating to the British invasion, European colonial dominance, power relations, asymmetry, injustice and everyday life. The study presents photographs not only as mere period documents, artefacts and historic source that serve to the purpose of scientific analysis and interpretation, but also the purpose of inspiring the contemporary artistic work.
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