In examining the imagined worlds of empire, John Comaroff critically examines the colonizers' images of empire, one being the notion of an "idyllic countryside." He writes, "For those who lamented a paradise lost to the cause of the industrial revolution, the idealized British past was situated in a pristine countryside cast timelessly in the early 18th century" (1989:667). These idealizations parallel Renato Rosaldo's (1989:120) notion of "imperialist nostalgia" as "conventional trope," or Donna Haraway's (1989:267) "colonial-nostalgic aesthetic."' Rosaldo "dismantles" the "ideology of imperialist nostalgia" examining the "process of yearning for what one has destroyed"; he suggests, provocatively and disturbingly, that anthropologists "inhabit partially overlapping ideological spaces" with colonizers and missionaries in "mourning the passing of traditional society" (1989:115- 116, 120). One could also implicate photojournalists and postcolonials in sharing this "conventional trope" of yearning for a pastoral past. As Raymond Williams (1973:289) reminds us, the persistence of these images of pastoralism accompanying agrarian capitalism is matched only by their historicity and by variable and powerful meanings "in feeling and activity; in region and time" (1973:4) (317).
Dominy, M. D. "Photojournalism, Anthropology, and Ethnographic Authority." Cultural Anthropology 8.3(1993): 317–337.