The “Early Photography in Borneo” a panel at the 2021 EuroSEAS conference

The 2021 conference of the European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EuroSEAS) was held in Olomuc, Czech Republic, from the 7th to the 10th September.

The panel “Between Heritage and Colonial Representations: Early Photography in Borneo”, organised by Antonio Guerreiro, included four presentations related to Borneo:

  • Antonio J. Guerreiro, “Charles Hose’s Borneo: A Pioneer photographer in Sarawak”
  • Rosalie C. Corpuz, “Early Photography in North Borneo – Sabah, Malaysia”
  • Bernard Sellato, “Jean Demmeni (1866-1939), a great photographer for two famous Borneo explorers”
  • Nicolas Césard & Bernard Sellato, “Expeditions and photography in Kalimantan. Combining historical and morphological approaches to reconstruct Dutch military excursions in the Interior of Borneo”

Panel abstract

Charles Hose

The panel will showcase the salient aspects of early photography in Borneo, in the former British (Sarawak, Sabah), and Dutch colonial areas (Kalimantan), c. 1870s – 1920s. A first step will be identifying the individuals active in the field and their practice of photography. Charles Hose (1863-1929) as a cadet, then Resident, was the most notable administrative
officer in the Brooke Raj who was involved in pioneering ethnographic studies and photography. Between 1884 and 1907, he was posted in out-stations, in the Baram and the Rejang. The panel will outline the different uses of photography and more generally, illustration, in Charles Hose’s main publications, including the style of the captions. The relation between photography and ethnographic and natural history collecting, will be stressed. Besides cultural heritage (tangible, i.e material culture, and its intangible dimensions), the exotic as expressed in landscapes, animal life and portraits, features prominently in the images from this period. Dayak/Punan/Penan/Murut indigenous peoples and fauna and flora have been the most popular subjects of photographers. A mapping of the categories of representations in order to focus on the colonial gaze in Borneo will be provided. The panel will address as well the historical context at the time: the colonial presence and ‘ethnographic expeditions’ taking place in central Borneo, a region spread between Sarawak and Kalimantan, Indonesia (known then as ‘Dutch Borneo’). Another famous photographer, Jean Demmeni (1866-1939), participated in A. W. Nieuwenhuis’ three expeditions taking place across West and East Borneo, between 1896 and 1900. Hose intensively practiced photography during his postings in the Baram and the Rejang areas (circa 1895 – 1907,1920). Besides Charles Hose and Jean Demmeni, other photographers were active in Borneo during this period (inter alia Evans, Funk, Furness, Grubauer, Haddon, Harrisson-Smith, Martin and Osa Johnson, Mjöberg, Tillema, Woolley). Besides so-called ‘scientific photography’, used to support academic texts and explorations, another photographic type which has been overlooked, i.e. postcards with exotic and romantic connotations, will be considered. In short, early photography besides engravings or drawings – actually the former often made after photographs – had a significant role in the shaping of Borneo’s ‘culturescape’ during the 20th century.

Conference: “Cultural and Natural Heritage in the Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat Karst Range of East Kalimantan (Indonesia): Policies and Conservation Efforts”

“Cultural and Natural Heritage in the Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat Karst Range of East Kalimantan (Indonesia): Policies and Conservation Efforts”

« Le patrimoine culturel et naturel dans le massif karstique de Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat. Stratégies de conservation et politiques patrimoniales »

Click to download the flyer

Conférence de Antonio Guerrreiro à l’auditorium de l’Institut Français d’Indonésie (IFI) à Jakarta, le 1er juin 2016, de 17h30 à 19h. Continuer la lecture de « Conference: “Cultural and Natural Heritage in the Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat Karst Range of East Kalimantan (Indonesia): Policies and Conservation Efforts” »

Indonesian archeologists survey the Meratus Mountains (South Kalimantan)

EurASEAA poster on Meratus surveys
EurASEAA poster on Meratus surveys (click to enlarge)

For some years, our colleagues from Balai Arkeologi of Banjar Baru (Regional Office for the Archaeology of all Kalimantan provinces) conducted surveys and testpits in the region of the Meratus mountains, in South Kalimantan. Their work contributed to a better knowledge of the distribution of archeological sites in Kalimantan, which unfortunately are under documented.

Depuis quelques années, nos collègues du Balai Arkeologi de Banjar Baru (le service régional d’archéologie pour l’ensemble des provinces de Kalimantan) effectuent des prospections et des sondages archéologiques dans la région des monts Meratus, à Kalimantan sud. Leur travail contribue utilement à préciser notre connaissance de la répartition des sites archéologiques à Kalimantan, qui comporte encore malheureusement de nombreuses zones non documentées.

Bambang Sugiyanto [see his ResearchGate page]and Restu Budi Sulistiyo two researchers from Balai Arkeologi, Banjar Baru, have recently presented some of their results at the 15th EurASEAA conference, that took place at the University of Nanterre (France, 6-10 of July 2015, see our report). They kindly accepted that we publish a copy of their poster and of its abstract on the MAFBO blog.

Bambang Sugiyanto [page ResearchGate] et Restu Budi Sulistiyo, deux chercheurs du Balai Arkeologi de Banjar Baru, ont récemment pu présenter quelques résultats de ces travaux à la 15e conférence de l’Association européenne des archéologues du sud-est asiatique (EurASEAA), qui s’est tenu à l’université de Nanterre, en France du 6 au 10 juillet 2015 (voir notre compte-rendu). Ils ont aimablement accepté que nous publions une copie de leur poster et du résumé sur le blog du projet MAFBO.

Archaeological surveys and Human occupation in the Meratus mountains (South Kalimantan, Indonesia)

Since 1995 and the excavations at Gua Babi and Gua Tangkorak (1995-1999), the Archaeological Institute of Banjarmasin (Indonesia) have undertook extensive archaeological survey in the Meratus mountains range of South Borneo (south Kalimantan province, Indonesia). Human prehistory in this region is poorly documented and understood, mainly due to exploration difficulties in this karstic region. Twenty years of survey have led to the discoveries of dozens of caves and shelters, some with rock art paintings and burials dating back to at least the early Holocene. Archaeological data are sufficient to start a preliminary comparison of the archaeological findings between the different region of the Meratus mountains. This poster aims to display the preliminary results of the Archaeological surveys of the karstic region of the Meratus mountains of South Borneo.

Prospections archéologique et occupations humaines dans les monts Meratus (Kalimantan sud, Indonésie)

Depuis les fouilles de Gua Babi et de Gua Tangkorak, de 1995 à 1999, le service archéologie de Banjarmasin a entrepris des prospections extensive dans les monts Meratus a sud de Bornéo (Province de Kalimantan sud, Indonésie). La préhistoire humaine est faiblement documentée et comprise dans cette région, principalement du fait des difficultés de l’exploration dans cette zone karstique. Vingt années de prospection ont conduit à la découverte de dizaines de grottes et d’abris, certaines renfermant des peintures rupestres ou des sépultures datables du début de l’Holocène. Les données archéologiques sont suffisantes pour entamée une comparaison préliminaire entre les résultats obtenus dans les différents secteurs des monts Meratus. Ce poster rend compte des premiers résultats de ces prospections.

(French translation by S. Plutniak)

Returning from the 15th EurASEAA Conference

EurASEAA 2015. During the pottery session
EurASEAA 2015. During the pottery session

From the 6th – 10th July 2015 six MAFBO project members (including J.-M. Chazine, A. Guerreiro, J.-G. Ferrié, M. Grenet, S. Plutniak, F.-X. Ricaut) attended the 15th EurASEAA conference (European Association of Southeastasian Archaeologists) held in Nanterre University, France. More than 200 archaeologists –but also curators, anthropologists and economists, from Europe, Asia and America participated in this event. It was a good opportunity to meet our colleagues and discuss current and future research projects.

We participated in five oral presentations and one poster. 

Our Indonesian colleagues or collaborators also gave presentations.

Bambang Sugiyanto and Restu Budi Sulistiyo, from the Kalimantan Provincial office for Archaeology (Balai Arkeologi, Banjar Baru) displayed a poster entitled “Prehistoric man occupancy in the Meratus Mountains, South Kalimantan” (see this page). 

Mahirta, from the Archaeology Department of the University Gadjah Madah, Yogyakarta, co-authored a paper with Sue O’Connor (ANU, Canberra) about the “Stone artefact technology of Tronbon Lei Rockshelter, Alor Island, Nusa tenggara Timur, Indonesia” in the lithic technologies in Southeast Asia panel. 

EurASEAA 2015. Deleguates visiting the Musée d'archéologie nationale, Saint-Grmain-en-Laye
EurASEAA 2015. Delegates visiting the Musée d’archéologie nationale, Saint-Germain-en-Laye

EurASEAA 2015. The main hall with posters.
EurASEAA 2015. The main hall with posters.

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