independence day 1934-1975 first independence day ... the first independence day, leading up to and

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    Independence Day 1934-1975 (2009-ongoing)

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    Maryam Jafri

    Independence Day 1934-1975 features over 55 archival photos culled from

    more than 30 archives of the first Independence Day ceremonies of various

    Asian, Middle Eastern, and African nations including Jordan, Kuwait,

    Indonesia, India, Tunisia, Ghana, Senegal, Syria, Malaysia, Kenya, Tanzania,

    Mozambique, Vietnam (South), DR Congo, Burkina Faso and Algeria. A key

    feature of the work is that the photos are sourced primarily from public archives in

    the Asian and Africa countries themselves. !

    !

    The first Independence Day, leading up to and including the formal ceremony,

    unfolds as a series of highly codified rituals and elaborate speech acts enacted

    across public and elite spaces. The swearing in of a new leadership, the signing

    of relevant documents, the VIP parade, the stadium salute, the first address to

    the new nation, is all supervised and orchestrated by the departing colonial

    power. The photographic material is strikingly similar despite disparate

    geographical and temporal origins as it reveals a political model exported from

    Europe and in the process of being cloned throughout the world. The photo

    installation emerges as a typology, poised somewhere between a grid and a

    storyboard. Although a great deal of research has been done on both the

    colonial and the post colonial eras, this project aims to introduce a third,

    surprisingly neglected element into the debate – that 24 hour twilight period in

    between, when a territory transforms into a nation-state. !!!!!

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    Images courtesy of: Teen Murti Archives (India), National Archives of Tanzania, Mohamed

    Kouaci Archives (Algeria), National Museum of Syria, Sami Moubayed Archive (Syria),

    National Archives of Malaysia, Ghana Ministry of Information, Kenya Ministry of

    Information, Rift Valley Railways Archive (Kenya), Radiodiffusion Télévision Nationale

    Congolaise (DR Congo), Personal collection (Sudan), Mozambique National School of

    Photography, National Archives of Indonesia, Kuwait National Oil Company, Cosme Dossa

    Archive (Benin), National Library of The Philippines, Rizal Library at Ateneo de Manila

    University, Andre Zoungrana Archive (Burkina Faso), Presidential Archives Republic of

    Tunisia, National Library of Jordan, Royal Court Library of Jordan, Senegal Ministry of

    Communication, Photo-ANTA (Madasgascar), National Archives of Sri Lanka, Lake House

    Archives (Sri Lanka), Fraternite Matin Archives (Ivory Coast), Morocco Ministry of

    Communication, Agence Burundaise de Presse (Burundi), Anonymous, etc.

    !

    55+ black & white photos, each photo approximately about A5 size (14.8 x

    21 cm/5.8 x 8.3 in), archival inkjet prints

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