Kolonial skam og borgerlig stolthet: Historien om et ukjent maleri
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Emneord (Nøkkelord)

Unknown family painting
colonial culture
post-colonial present
visual culture
images as historical sources
performing the past

Hvordan referere

Lien, S. (2011). Kolonial skam og borgerlig stolthet: Historien om et ukjent maleri. Tidsskrift for Kulturforskning, 10(2-3). Hentet fra http://ojs.novus.no/index.php/TFK/article/view/432


The article discusses an unknown painting which was commissioned by a wealthy merchant family in Bergen, around the beginning of the 19th century. The painting is more precisely a representation of the unhappy love story between a merchantâs son and a beautiful black woman from the Danish-Norwegian colony, St.Croix. It thus also presents itself as an entrance to a history which for a very long time has been absent â both in history writing and in the way museums are presenting the past: the history of local colonial engagement. The paintingâs original context is researched through a number of different sources: old trading archives, family stories, literary accounts and recent scholarly text on colonial culture. But the article also emphasises how the image of and the story about the unhappy couple may be seen as something more than a passive source of know­ledge about the past. It is also demonstrated how the painting also has the potential of regaining, loading or negotiating history. As a source to an underlying stream of repressed memories, it actively and repeatedly projects past into future.
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