Montenegro - Part 8

posted by usha on 2005/11/28 11:56

[ Montenegro ]

To complete yesterday's entry I needn't forget to draw attention to a second Njegos-site: (while the other one has been

There, you can watch a film on King Nicola. Besides that, the site put three travelogues (under "Studies") by the National Geographic Society from 1908 and 1913 online, of which the first focusses on Serbia, and those parts of the other two published there on Montenegro.

Though it is not surprising that also these travelogues reproduce every single prejudice about Montenegro and the Montenegrins, evoking the race of warriors at every possible and impossible opportunity and proudly promulgating that the working race in Montenegro are only the women, they are of high importance mainly for their photographs.

In all three articles they are of a very fine quality and taken in a manner which does not only provide the exotist's glance but catches also stills of the ongoing social life. Thus, in some of these photos the personal networks become visible by bodies dispersed and collocated, turning towards or away each other are telling stories of social and maybe personal relationships.

Only the second article, Where East meets West has the same author and photographer; the others have photographers different from the authors. However, there are not many differences of the photographic language and style between the three. The only special thing about Marian Cruger Coffin who shot the photo's herself is her tendence to catch scenes from behind: people entering a monastery, a Montenegrin bride in full ornate, a Herzegovin country woman, and two Dalmatian travelers, a man and a woman, turning around and looking at the photographer. No one of them is mingling in the scenes, the photographers keep their invisibility (I suspect that the photographer of the 1913-voyage is also a woman; unfortunately the name is quite undecipherable due to the rather poor quality of the scanned text).

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