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Kronos

versão On-line ISSN 2309-9585
versão impressa ISSN 0259-0190

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MIESCHER, Giorgio. Arteries of empire: on the geographical imagination of South Africa's railway war, 1914/1915. Kronos [online]. 2012, vol.38, n.1, pp.22-46. ISSN 2309-9585.

This essay analyses a set of visual representations of the South African military campaign into German South West Africa in 1914/1915. This campaign is explored in terms of an imperial expansion and approached through the lens of visuality. Elaborating on an album produced by the Kimberley-based photographer Alfred Duggan-Cronin, and cartoons, photographs, and maps kept in the Transnet Heritage Library in Johannesburg, the article traces the ways in which the visual representation of the war favoured a distinct articulation of an imagined imperial space. The analysis of visualised imaginaries is anchored in an inquiry of materiality, and hence considers the importance of the railway system as the technology, vehicle and medium for a dramatic South African expansion in the region.1

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