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Foundational FilmsEarly Cinema and Modernity in Brazil$
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Maite Conde

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520290983

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520290983.001.0001

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Picturing the Tropics

Picturing the Tropics

Forging a National Territory through Photography and Film

(p.131) 6 Picturing the Tropics
Foundational Films

Maite Conde

University of California Press

This chapter maps out the concerns and aims underlying what was called the Rondon Commission (1909–1930), an expedition that involved building telegraph lines and roads connecting Brazil’s vast interior with its coast. The chapter details the importance of visual technology, photography and film in the commission’s endeavors. It locates this importance within the broader international climate of the use of cinema and visual culture in anthropology, looking at the use of film in museums of natural history, scientific institutions, and popular sites geared toward projecting what Alison Griffiths calls “wondrous difference,” such as fairs and circuses. It also explores the difference between film and photography in order to elucidate how and why cinema was key to the task of unifying and centralizing the Republican nation state.

Keywords:   Rondon Commission, Amazon, Candido Rondon, ethnography, techno-politics, state formation

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