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  • 1.
    Magnusson, Dennis
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
    Bilder från det inre Afrika: Representationer av afrikaner i den svenska skämtpressen 1880-19202015Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates the representations of Africans in the Swedish comic press around the time 1880-1920, with the purpose of establishing how Africans were depicted and how these representations can be explained. The sources consist of four comic magazines: Kasper, Söndags-Nisse, Strix and Naggen.

    Results show that images of Africans in the late 19th and early 20th century Swedish comic press highly conform to international representations. Traditional stereotypes and overall caricatures are widely applied, mediating racial difference and black subordination. The comic strips and jokes can be divided into categories, defined by their main theme: 1) Exotic animals and nature 2) Skin colour 3) The unintelligent or uncivilised savage 4) Cannibalism 5) The civilised African 6) Imperialistic overtones. The use of international stereotypes indicates that some comic strips might have been directly copied from foreign publications, and incorporated into Swedish contexts.

    Several theories, likely interacting, can be considered in explaining the imagery. Firstly the representations may function as construction, establishment and strengthening of Swedish identity by defining, demonstrating and stressing the codes for ‘swedishness’ and otherness. Secondly the iconography can be seen as a political strategy, a carrier of imperialistic, patriarchal agenda that confirms white supremacy. Thirdly the representations may strongly depend on convention and tradition within the genre, wherein generic models and conventional codes limited artists’ representations. 

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