The Signs Of The Age Of Modernity

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Invented in the first half of the nineteenth century, photography became one of the signs of the age of modernity. Following the official announcement of the invention in 1839, photographers were dispatched to various parts of the world to document its marvels. The first places to be photographed in the Middle East were Palestine and Egypt shortly after the invention was announced. The rest of the Ottoman lands, Persia, and the Indian Subcontinent were also among the regions that were photographed soon after. European political, religious and colonial interests were initially the main reason behind the choice of what places were photographed first. Biblical history was the main motive behind photographing in Palestine, and ancient Egyptian history and the rise in the studies of archaeology were the motives for photographing the Pyramids. However, the British photographers primarily in connection with the empire’s colonial interests in that region heavily photographed India. The Arabian Peninsula, at the time, held little interest in the wider imagination of the Europeans, a fact that resulted in a delay in its visual representation. Still, the rising interest in the Islamic culture and the lifestyle of the Bedouins would eventually lead photographers in that region. At least one native, one Egyptian and a few European photographers photographed Mecca and Medina in the middle of the nineteenth century. In this context, concern with photographing Oman and the Gulf region were
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