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Egyptian musicians at the D. Thereza Christina Maria

This work will analyze four photographs from the Thereza Christina collection, consequently previously belonging to the personal archive of emperor D. Pedro II, which represent Egyptian musicians. These images are presented in an album produced by the Italian photographer Luigi Fiorillo which, mostly, contain panoramic views of Egypt. However, the first few pages of the volume features photographs entitled “types arabes”, from which we emphasize our subjects. The photograph of “types” is a genre that was consolidated at the top of the post-Enlightenment determinist and racial theories, supporting a mode of seeing that highlighted the differences and hierarchies between societies and cultures. We
intend to demonstrate how this iconographic material is allied to the construction of the Orientalist visuality, current throughout the 19th century both in painting and photography, which relied on the themes of music and dance as unavoidable parts. We will propose, finally, a theoretical connection between Orientalism and Egyptomania, searching for a decolonial or, at least, non-Eurocentric approach to discuss sources like these.

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Abstract