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Afterimage of EmpirePhotography in Nineteenth-Century India$
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Zahid R. Chaudhary

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677481

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677481.001.0001

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Sensing the Past

Sensing the Past

(p.188) (p.189) Coda Sensing the Past
Afterimage of Empire

Zahid R. Chaudhary

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents some final thoughts from the author. This book has attempted to show how photography might have something to teach us about the political formation of our own senses in a period of more wars. If instruction is, as Walter Benjamin says, “the only nexus of the free union of the old with the new generation,” then perhaps photographs still hold the potential for grasping such freedom. Since photographs access conception, sensation, and emotion simultaneously, this learning is not wholly conceptual and abstract; photographs make demands on our bodies and emotions, and their circulation across generations mirrors the movements of Benjamin’s Talmudic metaphor: “The generations are like waves that roll into each other and send their spray into the air”.

Keywords:   photography, photographs, Walter Benjamin

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