This paper pits Alldridge’s own descriptions of his photography against those of the art’s early “biographers” who faced similar dilemmas of pictorial representation, staging, and uncertainty, as well as how much they themselves were responsible for the images their cameras captured. Comparing the nationalist and naturalist themes present in writings from the birth of photography to Alldridge’s Transformed Colony will establish the place of photography in the colonialist narrative of Western technological progress, showing the official and unofficial imbalances of agency at work in the colonizer-colonized relationship enforced in Sierra Leone as well as colonialism’s disturbing equation of colonized peoples to nature.
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