Picturing the Volk: Colour Photography, National Socialist Ideology and the Myth of the Master Race

Christopher Peter Webster

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Abstract

During the early Twentieth Century in Germany, esoteric paradigms such as physiognomy, affected and often merged into "rational" science and contributed to the manner in which photography was understood to reveal "truth" and which was particularly evident in products of "cutting edge" technologies such as "Agfacolor-neu" – innovative colour photography of the 1930s. This paper explored the assimilation of esoteric currents into the visualization of Romantic and mystical notions such as "Volksgemeinschaft," and "Volkstum;" and how these concepts became central to the visual (photographic) language of those leading practitioners exploring the new colour medium in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 06 Jul 2011

Keywords

  • national socialism
  • geopolitics
  • racial science
  • physiognomy
  • colour photography
  • agfacolor-neu
  • photography
  • erich retzlaff

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