The Somali Village in the Luna Park of Saint Petersburg in 1912: History and Its Contemporary Interpretations
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The Somali Village in the Luna Park of Saint Petersburg in 1912: History and Its Contemporary Interpretations
Annotation
PII
S207987840002442-5-1
DOI
10.18254/S0002442-5-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Evgeny Savitsky 
Affiliation:
Russian State University for the Humanities
Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Abstract
The article examines the history of the Somali village, arranged in the Luna Park of St. Petersburg in 1912, as well as modern popular interpretations of this history. The research allowed to discover, that the postcards depicting this village and often used as historical sources reproduce earlier German postcards issued in connection with exhibitions in Mannheim, Prague, Aarhus, Berlin, Dresden and other cities from 1905 (or 1907) to 1911. The continuity in the issue of postcards allows to suggest the same organizer of exhibitions, and this includes the Russian display in a wider European context. Attention is drawn to the fact that the depicted people were usually represented as Abyssinians, and only in Berlin and St. Petersburg — as Somali. The question of how it is possible to work with photos that deliberately manipulate their documentary value leads to a review of a number of modern popular interpretations of the history of the Somali village, based primarily on the use of 1912 postcards. It was possible to identify both the use of old colonial stereotypes and the new construction of the past that refer to mass culture of the beginning of the 21st century. In addition, the importance of questions posed by non-professional researchers is noted, as well as the need for contemporary Russian historiography to participate in the study of these issues.
Keywords
Russia, Germany, Saint Petersburg, history of photography, Somali village, Luna-Park, ethnographical exhibitions, public history
Received
12.05.2018
Publication date
28.09.2018
Number of characters
48226
Number of purchasers
44
Views
2275
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
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