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To ‘Other’ someone, also known as ‘Othering’, is to view or treat a person/a group of people as different from and alien to oneself. Despite the insurgence of individuals educating themselves on such terms and ‘humbly’ deciding to post their ‘unlearning’ process on their social media pages for all to see, one cannot help but wonder whether this action is a deliberate attack against someone or an unconscious bias that many inherently have within them.

I will not seek to answer this question in this article, but instead, want to encourage those reading to critically and as much as possible, objectively analyse and question their own biases and patterns of behaviour. Othering occurs in a number of different situations, however, the type I am discussing is in relation to photography. The act of a tourist travelling to a land considered foreign by them, and feeling the need to capture the ‘foreigners’ (despite it being the ‘foreigners’ land) and then bringing it back with them and displaying it for all to see, spectate, ponder, question and at times criticise the individuals in the images, labelling them as different, less than, and overall, not as educated as the initial tourist, is an unfortunate case that perpetuates itself continually. The desire to capture an individual or group of people that are considered ‘different’ to oneself, eventually translating to ‘peculiar’ may have the cover up of ‘appreciating’ ones differences, but in truth, is another way to box someone in, subjecting them to a rather limiting label. …


Anne Nwakalor

Anne Nwakalor is a Critical Writer, usually writing on topics such as ‘Othering’ ‘Exoticism’ and Colonialism within the Photography industry.

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