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Monarchy and visual culture in colonial Indonesia
Author: Susie Protschky

Photographic subjects examines photography at royal celebrations during the reigns of Wilhelmina (1898–1948) and Juliana (1948–80), a period spanning the zenith and fall of Dutch rule in Indonesia. It is the first monograph in English on the Dutch monarchy and the Netherlands’ modern empire in the age of mass and amateur photography.

This book reveals how Europeans and Indigenous people used photographs taken at Queen’s Day celebrations to indicate the ritual uses of portraits of Wilhelmina and Juliana in the colonies. Such photographs were also objects of exchange across imperial networks. Photograph albums were sent as gifts by Indigenous royals in ‘snapshot diplomacy’ with the Dutch monarchy. Ordinary Indonesians sent photographs to Dutch royals in a bid for recognition and subjecthood. Professional and amateur photographers associated the Dutch queens with colonial modernity and with modes of governing difference across an empire of discontiguous territory and ethnically diverse people. The gendered and racial dimensions of Wilhelmina’s and Juliana’s engagement with their subjects emerge uniquely in photographs, which show these two women as female kings who related to their Dutch and Indigenous subjects in different visual registers.

Photographic subjects advances methods in the use of photographs for social and cultural history, reveals the entanglement of Dutch and Indonesian histories in the twentieth century, and provides a new interpretation of Wilhelmina and Juliana as imperial monarchs. The book is essential for scholars and students of colonial history, South-east Asian and Indonesian studies, and photography and visual studies.

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Photographic encounters between Dutch and Indonesian royals
Susie Protschky

visiting her court in the Netherlands. With the notable exception of the Mangkunegaran, the other royal houses of Central Java followed a similar pattern of preferring gift exchanges and delegations of their family members to personal audiences with the Dutch monarch. In fact, as I have discussed elsewhere, most of the Indigenous kings and princes of the Indies sent proxies from their households to honour the queen at her court rather than attend themselves. 7 Wilhelmina's famed disinclination to tour her colonies was

in Photographic subjects
Susie Protschky

around celebrations of the monarchy. The queen's subjects in the Netherlands and its overseas possessions – European commoners and Indigenous royals, commercial and amateur photographers, Dutch and Indonesian spectators and participants at royal festivals – were all figured in relation to the monarchy whenever they looked at, collected, made or exchanged photographs of their observance of royal milestones. In the process, they articulated what it meant to be a subject of an imperial, European, female king who presided over discontiguous territories and diverse peoples

in Photographic subjects
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Portraits of the monarch in colonial ritual
Susie Protschky

, conversion to Islam and encounters with the Dutch. Their textiles, manuscripts, literature and dramatic arts exemplify the syncretic religious and cultural traditions that the royal houses of Central Java share with other South-east Asian courts. Their encounters with Europe, and particularly with Dutch colonists, are evident in the assimilation of Western costume into rulers’ formal dress, the adoption of photography in their courts, and the rich record of gift and letter exchanges between European and Indigenous royal houses. 30

in Photographic subjects
The Dutch colonial world during Queen Wilhelmina’s reign, 1898–1948
Susie Protschky

photography across a transnational realm that included overseas colonies. Pakubuwono X's photograph album is but one of many examples discussed throughout this book of how both elite and ordinary subjects of the Dutch queen in the East Indies, Indonesians as well as Europeans, used photographs to make subtle political communications with Wilhelmina and each other. These encounters included diplomatic exchanges, appeals to a powerful institution for recognition and negotiations of subjecthood. Pakubuwono X's photograph is also one among countless examples of visual

in Photographic subjects
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Mass photography, monarchy and the making of colonial subjects
Susie Protschky

, foreground a neglected aspect of globalisation in the twentieth century: the role of family photography in building connections and articulating absences within dispersed communities in technologically and culturally novel ways. 3 This chapter therefore examines how the material and social contexts of family photographs – their embeddedness in objects (albums), texts (captions) and social practices (exchanges between friends and relations) – reveal colonial networks and expressions

in Photographic subjects
Unity in diversity at royal celebrations
Susie Protschky

‘incorporation rituals’ that bound her to her Dutch subjects. This concept borrows from scholarship on royal gift exchanges in a very different context – from the British Raj in Mughal India 62 – but the historical analysis of modern European kingship rituals is so underdeveloped that there are few other examples to draw upon. In Wilhelmina's lifetime, the invention of a tradition of women in the Dutch royal family wearing – and importantly, being photographed wearing – the folk costumes of their subjects arguably became

in Photographic subjects
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Lights, camera and … ‘Ethical’ rule!
Susie Protschky

political utility as a symbol of progress: in the Indies, during the polarisation of conservative and radical opinion in the early 1920s, and in the Netherlands, in the context of looming war during the late 1930s. The idea at the core of such photographs – that electrification demonstrated the effectiveness of Ethical colonial rule, a principle that was championed by a well-intentioned queen – circulated in both visual and textual forms throughout Wilhelmina's reign, trafficking back and forth between the Netherlands and the Indies in a lively current of exchange

in Photographic subjects
Kent Fedorowich

) discouraging emigration’ after the war. 10 In fact, the Colonial Office was unsure whether post-war emigration even fell within its jurisdiction. The Board of Trade, it suggested, with its network of 400 employment exchanges nationwide, was better suited to undertake administrative responsibility once the government had chosen a policy. Officials of the Board of Trade were inclined to agree. 11

in Unfit for heroes
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J.W.M. Hichberger

and sabre had largely given way to long-range artillery exchanges, and traditional tactics to guerilla warfare. Farm burning, barbed wire, concentration camps never appeared on the walls of the Royal Academy. 41 The problems presented by the new warfare were discussed discreetly by one writer: The enormous area. . . now covered by

in Images of the army