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“The European view of the orient is highly contradictory: Battling cultures and the “Islamic terror” is juxtaposed with the romanticized ideal of a fairy tale-like Orient. Neither of the two perceptions does justice to the diversity of the region. One can now see a more differentiated picture of the Orient in the exhibition of the Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg: the museum presents real historic oriental photography.” National Geographic Deutschland

Historic Oriental photography 1864-1970

The view of foreign lands through European eyes: The exhibition “Camel and Camera” displays a selection of the museum’s 18,000 photographs taken between 1864 and 1970 in the Near and Middle East and North Africa. These professional quality photographs show motives of North Africa, Egypt and the “Holy Land“ from the 19th and 20th century. The photographs mirror common stereotypical perceptions of the Orient. Photographs taken on scientific expeditions to regions hardly known to Europeans are especially telling. Thanks to the extensive support from the ZEIT-foundation of Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius, these photographic inventories have been digitalized, edited and analyzed.


All texts are available in German and English; depending on the region, many texts are available in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Kazakh and Turkish.


“Camel and Camera – Historic Orient Photography 1864 – 1970” (16.90 €).

Further information

Jana Caroline Reimer
phone: 040. 42 88 79- 551
fax: 040. 42 88 79 242

Weltkarte Kamel