GSA Library Reading Group: Image Representation
GSA Exhibitions with GSA Library

Event Type:

The GSA Public Lecture


Quiet Study Space, GSA Library The Glasgow School of Art Renfrew Street Glasgow G3 6RQ


9 May 2019
17:30 - 19:30



Freedom, A Fable: A Curious Interpretation of the Witof a Negress in Troubled Times
Image courtesy of GSA Library

GSA Library Reading Group: Image Representation

Event info

GSA Library Reading Group: Image Representation

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Quiet Study Space, GSA Library


This workshop is part of the Race, Rights and Sovereignty series.
Click here for more information.

Race, Rights and Sovereignty, in partnership with the GSA Library presents this series of three reading groups uncovering and examining a number of books in GSA's historical collections (mainly dating from the 19th century) that are written from paradigms that we would be critical of today, many with a colonial outlook. In these readings and discussion groups, we will explore and interrogate these selected texts collectively in order to deconstruct and consider how we can engage with these texts today, and where they are situated within contemporary libraries and archive holdings.

In this first reading group, we will examine the role of image representation in colonial texts and its impact on imaging in contemporary society. The following historical and contemporary works will be used as a starting point for the discussion:

Edy-Legrand (1919): Macao et Cosmage: ou l'Experience du Bonheur
This book for French children was published in November 1919, when Edouard Leon Louis Legrand (known as Edy-Legrand) was just 18. The book presents a very colonial view of island territories in which life is depicted as invariably happy and tranquil.

Ether Larcombe (c.1914): Lollypop Lays
Children's cloth-book featuring rhymes and songs illustrated by Ethel Larcombe (1876-1940).

Alexander Rowland (1853): The human hair, popularity and physiologically considered 
Describes and classifies human hair according to several 19th century 'divisions of man'.

Kara Walker (1997): Freedom, a fable: a curious interpretation of the wit of a negress in troubled times.