“Stealing the soul”: myths and bad encounters INHA, Galerie Colbert, room Walter Benjamin, March 21, 2023, Paris.

“Stealing the soul”: myths and bad encounters Tuesday March 21, 2023, 2 p.m. INHA, Galerie Colbert, Walter Benjamin room


INHA, Galerie Colbert, room Walter Benjamin 6 rue des petits champs 75002 Paris Quartier Vivienne Paris 75002 Île-de-France[{“link”:“[{« link »:«

“Steal the soul”? The “indigenous” experiences of photography in Central Africa
Manuel Charpy (Invisu, CNRS-INHA)

Accounts of travels in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America in the 19th century are interspersed with scenes of “savages” flabbergasted by the magic of photography or fleeing from photography seen as “stealing souls”. The anthropologist James George Frazer sees it as a recurring motif and the sign of a relationship to the image in his inventory of myths throughout the world. However, this second part of the 19th century is also the moment of a planetary diffusion of the photographic technique and its appropriation by the local populations. Looking more closely at photographic practices and uses by Europeans, a reaction of the populations is emerging above all political. What if photography threatened
really to steal the souls of the populations visited and soon to be colonized?

Photographing the medicine man – some Sioux cases
Thomas Grillot (CNRS, EHESS-CENA)

The capture of images of religious ceremonies is often held to be the very example of “cultural appropriation” – theft, in short. The dossier of photographs of the Medicine-Sioux men above all suggests seeing in them the trace of a set of financial, intellectual, theological and iconographic transactions whose role was decisive in the sedimentation of notions of “Indian religion” and “spirituality”. native “.

The experience of images (19th – 21st century)
This seminar focuses on the daily encounter with images, the experiences they produce and the appropriations of which they are the object. He questions these uses and receptions when the image enters the industrial era of the multiple, when they pass from support to support, and when they circulate on a local as well as a global scale.

Images cannot be reduced to representations: they are active, transforming the relationship to the world, to politics, to memory and to family. They play a role in the creation and consolidation of communities of belonging.

It is thus a question of adopting an approach at the crossroads of cultural and social history, art history, cultural anthropology, and studies on visual and material culture.

This seminar wants to go beyond the compartmentalization of cultural areas, to grasp the circulation of images and their appropriations in a perspective of connected history. The objective is, in short, to draw a more polyphonic panorama of the connected visual universe, woven from individual and collective experiences of images, since the 19th century.

Organized by the InVisu CNRS/INHA laboratory

Scientific Committee
Manuel Charpy (InVisu Laboratory, CNRS/INHA), Ece Zerman (InVisu Laboratory, CNRS/INHA; EHESS)

Program November 2022 – April 2023

Start and end dates and times (year – month – day – hour):

Advertising chromolithograph “An adventure in the Congo. 6° Enthusiastic, the king pardons him”, years 1880-1890. Manuel Charpy collection. Photograph of Black Elk in 1931 used in John G. Neihardt’s book, Black Elk Speaks, published in 1932.