Representations of a World in Flux: The Port of Rotterdam in Fin-de-Siècle Postcards

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Abstract

Why do old postcards matter for the understanding of port cities such as Rotterdam?
Old postcards, such as the ones presented here from the late 19th and early 20th century are important visual representations of urban space of the past. Publishers and photographers viewed and featured a world in flux. People bought and shared these views and disseminated them through the post.
The postcards are not simple visuals produced from a neutral stance. Each visual narration tells a different story of spatial change. They capture romantic maritime myths and ideas about industrial progress.
These fin-de-siècle postcards from Rotterdam, with their contingent and conflicted character, offer a window from which to view the dynamics of modernization of the port city and its representation over time.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalPortus
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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