Agitating ImagesPhotography against History in Indigenous Siberia

Agitating ImagesPhotography against History in Indigenous Siberia

Craig Campbell

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780816681051

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Abstract

Agitating Images explores the early history of Communist organization among small dispersed groups of indigenous Evenki peoples of Central Siberia. It draws this history into an examination of the destabilizing role of photographs in the production of history. While documenting the development of Soviet Nationalities policy in context of people who were considered to be socially and technologically ‘backwards,’ the project is resolutely committed to the demonstration of what I call photographic agitation. It performs this agitation all the while presenting a ‘nervous’ history of the momentous encounter between Soviet socialism and indigenous peoples in the Siberian North. This book will have broad appeal. Not only is it the first book to present a comprehensive treatment of the remote soviet outpost called the Culture Base but it adds to a lively historical and ethnological discourse on the colonial experience of the indigenous minorities of the Siberian North. Scholars working on histories of soviet socialism will be interested in this book for its counter-narrative of socialist modernity. For scholars interested in photography’s colonial histories, Agitating Images demonstrates the muddy role of photography in producing coherent scopic regimes.