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Fashioning Brazil: Globalization and the Representation of Brazilian Dress in National Geographic since 1988

Kutesko, Elizabeth (2016) Fashioning Brazil: Globalization and the Representation of Brazilian Dress in National Geographic since 1988. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, 20 (2). pp. 181-207. ISSN 1362-704X

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Kutesko, Elizabeth

As a popular ‘scientific’ and educational journal, National Geographic, since its founding in 1888, has positioned itself as a voice of authority within mainstream American print media, offering what purports to be an unprejudiced ‘window onto the world’. Previous scholarship has been quick to call attention to the magazine’s participation in an imperialist representational regime. Tamar Rothenberg, Linda Steet, and Catherine A. Lutz and Jane L. Collins have all argued that National Geographic’s distinctive, quasi-anthropological outlook has established hierarchies of difference and rendered subjects into dehumanised objects, a spectacle of the unknown and exotic other (Rothenberg 2007; Steet 2000; Lutz and Collins 1993). A more nuanced understanding can be reached by drawing upon the theoretical concept of an ‘aesthetics of garbage’, first employed by North American scholar of Brazilian film, Robert Stam (Stam 1998). Stam used garbage in a positive sense, to articulate the subtle nuances and complexities of re-used aesthetic codes and conventions that have arisen from global exchanges and interactions between the United States and Brazil. Photographs since National Geographic’s centenary edition in September 1988 encapsulate an ‘aesthetics of garbage’, and have traced the beginnings of a different view of global encounters between the United States and Brazil, driven by the forces of globalization. These images have resisted the processes of objectification, appropriation and stereotyping frequently associated with the magazine’s distinctive, rectangular yellow border. This is because they have provided evidence of a fluid and various population, which has selected and experimented with preferred elements of American and European dress, and used it to fashion their own, distinctly Brazilian identities.

Official Website: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1362704X.2016.1133547
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Taylor & Francis
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 31 February 2016
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1080/1362704X.2016.1133547
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2017 14:52
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2020 19:11
Item ID: 12101
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/12101

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