In the last decades of the nineteenth century Germany made the move towards colonialism, with the first German protectorates in Africa. At the same time, Germany was undergoing the transformation to a mass consumer society. As Ciarlo shows, these developments grew along with one another, as the earliest practices of advertising drew legitimacy from the colonial project, and around the turn of the century, commercial imagery spread colonial visions to a mass audience. Arguing that visual commercial culture was both reflective and constitutive of changing colonial relations and of racial hierarchies, Advertising Empire constructs what one might call a genealogy of black bodies in German advertising. At the core of the manuscript is the identification of visual tropes associated with black bodies in German commercial culture, ranging from colonial and ethnographic exhibits, to poster art, to advertising. Stereotypical images of black bodies in advertising coalesced, the manuscript argues, in the aftermath of uprisings against German colonial power in Southwest and East Africa in the early 20th century. As Advertising Empire shows for Germany, commercial imagery of racialized power relations simplified the complexities of colonial power relations. It enshrined the inferiority of blacks as compared to whites as one key image associated with the birth of mass consumer society.
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African figure African native allegorical American artistic audience Berlin black figure Book of Advertising Bremen British caricature century chapter chromolithographed cigar cigarette circulated coffee colonial enthusiasts Colonial Exhibition colonialist commercial imagery commercial visuality commodity consumer Cronau decade depicted Deutsche Deutschland Die Reklame display early emerged Empire engravings ethnographic European exotic figure’s fin de siècle firm Frankfurt Friedländer German advertising German Colonial Society Germany’s graphic Hagenbeck Hamburg Herero Herero War illustration Illustrirte Zeitung imperial Imperial Germany Industrial Exhibition instance Kiautschou land Liebig lips magazines margarine mass minstrel minstrel show modern motifs Museum offered P. T. Barnum packaging pictorial Plakat political popular poster print version professional Propaganda race racial refer Reklame reproduced Rudolf Sarotti savage scene shoe polish shows soap social Source style themes tion Tobacco Moor trademark trading cards University Press view this image viewer visual culture Völkerschau