Picture Postcards

I’ve been reading two books lately, Indonesia:  500 Early Postcards by Leo Haks and Steven Wachlin.  The book is about postcards produced during the Dutch governance of the East Indies, mostly late 19th and early 20th century tourists photographs of the eastern paradise, and advertising the Dutch accomplishments in developing the archipelago.

The other is about populist photography in Java after World War II, largely focusing on the reigns of Sukarno and Soeharto’s New Order, Refracted Visions by Karen Strassler.

The books compliment one another well.

It is amazing how little has changed.

The postcards of both today and years bygone still the remain the same, drawing up the same culture needs and signifiers.

It’s all just grown in scale and complexity.


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