P11 – The built environment through the colonial periodical press

23.05.2017, Auditorium C1.04​, 1st floor, Building II  ISCTE-IUL

P11.A – 12.00-13.20 | P11.B – 14.30-15.50

Alice Santiago Faria – CHAM, FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Universidade dos Açores, Portugal

Abstract: One of the most visible faces of colonial power and one of the most permanent were the changes in the built environment: the construction of buildings, ports, roads, railways or other infrastructures or the changes in the landscape through forestation, changes in agriculture, etc. These are just some of the examples.

This panel aims to explore the role and assert the importance of the colonial periodical press – newspapers and periodicals (general or scientific), published in the colonial territories and in the metropoles – in the study of the built environment by exploring themes such as the reception, circulation of models, the discussion and understanding by the public, use by the political power, among others. Some of this themes can be discussed by the following questions, to which they are not limited to: How was the built environment used by the press, in the colonial territories and in the metropoles, as a mean of propaganda (by the governments or the oppositions)? Were transcolonial debates or circulations of knowledge (by the circulation of models, etc.)  made only by scientific press or also by general press? Who were the predominant actors and what were the main discourses? How can reception, and the change of reception over the course of time, be studied trough colonial periodical press? How are these changes made in the colonial period, perceptible, debated, etc. in the post-colonial period through the press?

Keywords: Built environment, circulation, reception, propaganda, discourse, colonial, transcolonial, post-colonial

P11.A – 12.00-13.20

1. Cibele Aldrovandi, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil

Śrī Śāntādurgā Devī in the legal manuscripts and the Official Press of Goa: reconstructing a sacred landscape  

This paper presents an analysis of the sacred landscape associated with the goddess Śrī Śāntādurgā and the Hindu female deities of Goa which are discussed using two distinct types of written sources of the colonial period: the legal manuscripts and the Official Press. The Goan territory was deeply modified after the advent of the Portuguese and the Hindu temples of the Old Conquests were totally destroyed in the 16th century. A detailed survey of the oldest Municipal Charters (Foral) of the Islands of Goa, Salcete and Bardez, issued during the 16th and 17th centuries – which contain the systematic record of the properties that used to belong to those temples and their transference to the hands of the Christians – combined with the data provided by the Bylaws of the temples signed during the 19th and 20th centuries – and published in the Official Bulletins of the General-Government of the State of India –, allow us to understand the extension of the cults devoted to Hindu female goddesses, with particular emphasis to their most popular one, Śrī Santeri – Śāntādurgā. The ambivalent interdiscursivity present in the textual stratigraphy of these Goan sources in Portuguese language, provides an indirect and peculiar portrait of the historical transformations that took place in Goa at the time and allowed the recovery of significant data, whose systemization and revision call for a more precise reconstruction of the pre-colonial Hindu sacred landscape, as well as the consequent diaspora of part of these deities to the neighbouring territories and the subsequent development of the contemporary Hindu sacred landscape.

Keywords: Śrī Śāntādurgā, Goa, Municipal Charter (Foral), Official Bulletin, sacred landscape, textual stratigraphy

2.  Johan Lagae, Ghent University, Dept. of Architecture and Urban Planning, Belgium

Educating the colonial spouse or pushing the agenda of tropical modernism. Architecture in the pages of the Bulletin de l’Union des Femmes Coloniales                 

In this paper, I will argue that Bulletin de l’Union des femmes colonials (UFC) forms a promising source to study colonial architecture in Congo. Published from 1926 till 1961, it targeted an audience of colonial spouses, and initially served as an important platform to educate them in architectural matters, discussing, for instance, how to create comfortable dwelling conditions in the colony or how to decorate one’s interior. In the immediate postwar years, the Bulletin continued to play this role, adding a section on garden decoration. But it also engaged in a more profound, and then still unresolved discussion on the development of an appropriate, contemporary architecture for the Belgian Congo. In 1947 the then president of the UFC, J. Maquet Tombu, launched a remarkable call to architects writing that “on est en droit d’attendre de nos constructeurs coloniaux qu’ils sortent de le banalité d’un style international pour créer une architecture en harmonie avec le sol congolais”. To that end, the editorial board invited a number of prominent architects (Charles Van Nueten, Claude Laurens,…) to express their views. As such, the Bulletin provides a rare insight in some of the key tensions underlying the postwar architectural practice in Congo and allows to map divergences between the agenda of “tropical modernist” designers and the expectations of a “comme chez soi”, held by the average white colonizer in Congo.

Keywords: Belgian Congo, tropical modernism, dwelling, colonial spouse

3. Joaquim Rodrigues dos Santos, ARTIS – Instituto de História da Arte, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

‘It is necessary to give life to Old Goa’: the restores of Old Goa in Goan periodical press during the Portuguese colonial period

The independence of the Indian Union in 1947 was followed by claims and ultimatums for the integration of Indian territories under Portuguese administration in a united India freed from colonial powers. Something that the Portuguese dictatorial regime, strongly nationalist and imperialist, could not allow, as its probable consequence would be opening the process of losing the overseas territories still remaining from the old Portuguese colonial empire. As it happened in Portugal, the architectural heritage of the Estado da Índia’s was partially restored with ideological and propagandist purposes. Several monuments in Old Goa were restored as part of two celebrations manipulated by the regime: the Exposition of the Body of Saint Francis Xavier in 1952; and, in 1960, the celebration of the V Centenary of the Death of Henry the Navigator, associated with the celebration of the 450 years of the Conquest of Goa by Alfonso de Albuquerque.

Regarding the second case, a series of documents allows studying, with some rigour, what was thought and accomplished in the heritage interventions; however, for the first case the lack of data is evident. In fact, apart from scarce documents and references in books, it is not easy to document the action of Baltazar Castro in Old Goa, a restorer who became unloved in Portugal and, afterwards, in the Estado da Índia. However, by analyzing local periodicals, it was possible to find and follow, in Goan press, the actions performed during both events. This paper intends to emphasize the importance of periodical press as a complementary (and, in this case, primordial) source to analyze the restoration of monuments in Old Goa performed at the end of the Portuguese colonial period, showing a wealth of fundamental information concerning the heritage safeguard in Goa during the colonial period.

Keywords: Periodical press, Old Goa, Restoration of monuments, Colonial period

4. Rui Simões, Escola Superior de Comunicação Social, Portugal 

Renascent Macau: planning and patrimony in the Anuários de Macau (1921-1975)

The Anuários de Macau are situated, as a serialized publication, at the border of the editorial range of periodical press, constituting themselves at once as enrollments of human and patrimonial resources of the territory, and as narratives of its government consistency, through the action of the administration or through the framing of the later to the local activities, private or associative. Edited sporadically since 1879, they became regular publications after 1921, under the direct Patronage of the administration, although with some edition hiatus or assemble of numbers and coexisting, after 1939-40, with other specialized yearbooks, namely about Statistics and Education. Frequently approached as source for studies about demography and patrimony, structure and governmental action, the nature of its editorial agenda and of its compromise with a representation of the territory, of its memory and of its governance, is rarely discussed. The present paper proposes a critical Reading of the structure and composition of all yearbooks and Directories published between 1921 and 1975, particularly focusing the discourse about the interventions, in the planning and in the patrimony, of public initiative.

Keywords: Macau, Patrimony, Governance, Yearbooks

5. Valdiney Valente Lobato de Castro e  Germana Maria Araújo Sales, Universidade Federal do Pará

The city of the court and reading conditions

By the beginning of the 19th century, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s most populous city, there was an expressive number of inhabitants certainly attracted by the port were gold was disposed and manufactured goods were imported. And since the time it became the capital of the colony, many streets, paving and buildings like the Palace of the Vice-Kings and the Public Walkaway, were build. At the same time the urban space expanded, reading habits also gave their first steps, even if contained by limited access to books and newspapers that came from Portugal. This trend densified with the arrival of the Royal Family in 1808, the opening of the ports of commerce to other nations and the liberty of press. The city breathe an air of progress and reading spaces like bookstores, libraries and reading rooms multiplied. The birth of several periodicals, offering daily news, also contributed to form a reading public, namely avid for the narratives of feuilleton pages which greatly helped the consolidation of literature in Brazilian territories. Given such environment, the aim of this study is to connect the changes occurred in the City of the Court with reading conditions to draw a profile of nineteenth century reader. For that it is necessary to research on the periodicals of Brazil Colony, abundant in the city, and the news they published, as a means to understand how the urban environment of Rio de Janeiro contributed to the configure the reader.

Keywords: periodicals, Rio de Janeiro, reader, environment

P11.B – 14.30-15.50

6. Corinna Schäfer, University of  Sussex, UK

Iron message: Colonial railways and the German settler press in Africa 

Within the short but brutal period of German colonialism in Africa, settlers set up their own press system. The newspapers became an important medium for them to build supportive networks, make their voices heard and bring their colonial projects forward. Of great importance to the settler press was the construction and expansion of railways. The press depended on colonial infrastructures for its very own existence. But the newspapers lobbied forcefully for the building of railways mainly because railways were seen as a key to success for the German colonial project as a whole. Contributors to the discourse aimed at convincing the German parliament to grant money for infrastructure projects in order to appropriate and exploit African territories with minimal risk for the colonists. The newspapers staged themselves as railway experts, discussing appropriate models and types of construction. Colonial neighbours were in this context considered either rivals or potential partners. In this paper I explore the German settler newspapers’ discourse on railways, the images it produced and the anxieties it revealed. I will argue that railways were seen as panacea to alleviate the settler’s feeling of precariousness, triggered by the African majority around them as well as by the imagined encirclement through other imperial powers like Britain.

Keywords: German colonialism, railways, settler newspapers, discourse, Great Britain/ Germany

7.  Pedro Guedes, The University of Queensland, Australia   

Ubique: Supporting Britain’s Imperial project through military engineering journals

By the late 1820s the esprit de corps of the Royal Engineers was compromised by worldwide dispersal. Many were posted to isolated garrisons on every continent. Among this educated military elite some already corresponded with existing learned societies. The inaugural issue of Papers on Subjects Connected with the Duties of the Corps of Royal Engineers appeared in 1837, becoming one of the earliest British professional journals to cover tropical buildings in detail. It also published papers on topics of emerging interest such as meteorology, surveying, railways and other important fields of infrastructure as well as civil engineering works, all areas in which Royal Engineers played important roles on civilian secondment at home and abroad. In 1864, Professional Papers on Indian Engineering, followed the model, with a stronger emphasis on public buildings and civil engineering works, reviewing projects and designs by officers and engineers working in the Public Works Departments.

This paper will review these periodicals and explore their role as effective communicators. It will focus on systems of barracks and hospitals, initially developed in the 1820s for the warm humid tropics in the West Indies. These models influenced those built elsewhere and in India from the 1860s, provoking criticism and debate. The study will compare these periodicals to contemporaneous scientific and professional publications and review the work of major contributors.

Keywords: Military Engineers, Professional Journals, Colonial Engineering, Tropical Building, Indian Infrastructure

8. Elvan Cobb, Cornell University, EUA          

Re-scripting Ottoman Lands through Infrastructure: the Railroads of Western Anatolia

As competition among European powers increased during the 19th century, ‘the Orient’ became a contested space for colonial influence and/or direct control. Western Anatolia in particular was viewed opportunistically by Europeans, especially following the 19th-century Ottoman reform movements that enabled greater ownership of land by ‘outsiders’. One contemporary British subject, James Whittall went so far as to suggest that the Ottoman Aegean coast could become a colony and in this endeavor “the first and most important step [was] to make railways.” (Senior 1859, 206-207) Indeed, by 1866, two separate railroads had connected the port city of İzmir to the fertile valleys of the Gediz and Menderes rivers, carrying the valuable products of the inland regions for export to European markets. Although initially viewed with colonialist intent by Whittall and others, an examination of period newspapers reveals that the processes of construction and operation of these railways occurred within a complex dynamic surrounding the control of space. Eager to enable the construction of large infrastructural works in its domains, the Ottoman Empire itself was an important agent in the production and regulation of railway spaces in Western Anatolia. This paper uses contemporary local and international periodicals to examine the machinations employed both by the Ottoman government and the railway companies in order to gain and hold control of railway spaces in the Ottoman Empire.

Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Railway Construction, Western Anatolia

9. Sophie Junge, University of Zurich, Switzerland

“Mooi Indië”? The Illustrated Press and the Image of Modern Urbanity in Colonial Indonesia 

Images from the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia) have been legitimizing Dutch colonial activity since the 17th century. Especially 19th century-photography was used to demonstrate Dutch authority on the archipelago. Nevertheless, it was not so much photography as the reproduction of photographic images in illustrated magazines around 1900 that made the colony a place to be seen. This paper examines images of colonial urbanity in illustrated weekly magazines that were produced in the Dutch East Indies after 1900 like “Het Indische Leven”. Within these magazines printed photographs and texts created the image of colonial cities like Surabaya or Semarang. By reproducing a specific canon of pictures over a long period of time, the illustrated press has been responsible for this process of iconization of colonial places reflecting power relations and social hierarchies. Not only in the colonies has the illustrated press been read as a characteristic of modernization. But here images and text often show and tell a different story of continuity and timelessness of colonial places that contrasts the simple linkage of print media and modernization. The paper analyzes these contradictory representations of colonial space to find out more about (1) the creation of a specific canon of images, (2) the reception of colonial urbanity in the beginning of the 20th century and (3) its meaning in terms of Dutch national identity.

Keywords: colonial photography, Dutch East Indies, iconization, architecture, Surabaya


Alice Santiago Faria 

Cibele E. V. Aldrovandi is archaeologist and art historian, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of São Paulo. She is currently conducting a Senior Post-Doctorate Project (CNPq) at the DLCV-FFLCH-USP, as associate researcher of the “Pensando Goa” Thematic Project. She has dedicated more than 15 years of her career to South Asian Studies, with regular stays at foreign research institutions in U.S.A., India and France.

Corinna Schäfer is a doctoral researcher in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex (GB) where she also completed my Masters. Her research project on the settler press, its networks and infrastructure in the German colonies in Africa is situated in media history and historical geography. She has taught a course on the British Empire and its legacies and she is an associate editor of the postgraduate journal Brief Encounters.

Elvan Cobb is a PhD candidate in Cornell University’s History of Architecture and Urban Development program.  She researches the history of the modern city, especially in the Middle East, with a focus on the interaction of the historic built environment with histories of archaeology, travel, and technology.  Elvan’s dissertation, “Railway Crossings: Encounters in Ottoman Lands,” examines the everyday spatial practices and perceptions engendered by the advent of the first railroads in Ottoman Anatolia, originating from the port city of Izmir (Smyrna).

Germana Maria Araújo Sales has a degree in Literature from Universidade Estadual do Ceará (1989), a Master in Literary Theory from the Federal University of Pará (1997) and a PhD in Theory and Literary History from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (2003). She is currently Associate Professor III at the Faculty of Arts, at the Institute of Letters and Communication (ILC), of the Universidade Federal do Pará, with teaching activities at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, working especially on issues related to 19th Century Literature and the teaching of Literature.

Joaquim Manuel Rodrigues dos Santos (Bombarral, 1975). Architect and M.Arch by the University of Coimbra, specialist in heritage preservation by the Federal University of Bahia, and PhD in Architecture by the University of Alcalá de Henares. Presently developing a post-doctoral research in the ARTIS – Institute of History of Art of the University of Lisbon on the safeguarding of architectural heritage with Portuguese influence in India. His research is on architecture, urbanism, history of architecture and heritage preservation, which originated several publications, conferences and organization of scientific events.

Johan Lagae is Full Professor at Ghent University, where he teaches 20th Century Architectural History with a focus on the non-European context. He holds a PhD on colonial architecture in the former Belgian Congo and has published widely on the topic, as well as on 20th century architecture and urban history in Central-Africa, and on the notion of colonial built heritage. His current research also focuses on architecture and planning in post-independence Africa, the emergence of the ‘global expert’ in the postwar era and the relationship between architecture and bureaucracy, both in Belgium and the colonized territories. He (co-)curated several Congo-related exhibitions, and from 2010 till 2014 he co-chaired a European research community devoted to the theme “European Architecture beyond Europe” (COST-action IS0904).

Pedro Guedes grew up in Mozambique and read Architecture at the University of Cambridge followed by private practice in London and teaching for many years at the Architectural Association and Royal College of Art. Defeated by drizzle, he emigrated to Australia in 1995, back to a familiar sub-tropical environment, where he lectures at the University of Queensland. His current research focuses on Colonial architectures and the communication of ideas across vast distances.

Rui Simões has a degree in anthropology and a Masters in sociology [FCSH-UNL], a graduate degree in educational psychology [ISPA] and a PhD in educational sciences [FCSH-UNL]. Formerly a teacher at the Setúbal Polytechnic Institute, Macao Polytechnic Institute and University of Macau, he currently works at the School of Communication and Media Studies of the Lisbon Polytechnic Institute. His main research topics are the body and traditional games, soft powers, intercultural communication and Portuguese education in Asia.

Sophie Junge works at the Center for Studies in the Theory and History of Photography at the Institute of Art History of the University of Zürich. Currently, she is also affiliated at the University of Leiden as a research fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation to prepare a Postdoc project on photography and printed images from the Dutch East Indies after 1900. Her book “Art Against AIDS. Nan Goldin’s Exhibition Witnesses: Against our Vanishing” has been published in 2016.

Valdiney Valente Lobato de Castro is graduated in arts from the Federal University of Pará; he holds a Master in Literature and Literary Theory from the same university. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Literature with emphasis in Literary Studies at the Federal University of Pará. He is a substitute professor at the State University of Amapá and the Federal University of Amapá. He studies the production of Machado de Assis with emphasis on the circulation, reading and reception of the author’s short stories, and on the 19th century reading.

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