Who is looking at who? The Colonial Gaze(s)


Studiepoeng, omfang

10 studiepoeng.

Studienivå (studiesyklus)




Full time.


Vår / spring.


Campus Møllendal / UiB.

Mål og innhald

In this module, a set of colonial histories and identities are investigated with artistic methods.

Presentations and discussions form the discursive part, on the basis of which each student investigates issues, content and methods, leading up to individual and/or group presentations of the resulting artwork(s).


This module provides an extended focus and insight into the colonial histories and their contemporary circumstances.

Using contemporary artistic research; methods and reflection to untangle and position the various discourses and agenda¿s in the field.

Through the development of an individual and/or a group project the student will acquire experimental knowledge on how artistic research method can be used to investigate specific issues.



  • understanding of a set of colonial histories and identities with an understanding of critical reflection.


  • Experience with various artistic methods.
  • Experimental practical knowledge from the development of artistic research.
  • Tools to investigate and research a specific issue.

Generell kompetanse:

  • kan utvilke egen kunstnerisk praksis i rammerne af kunstnerisk utviklingsarbeid.
  • kan utvilke egne research metoder.
  • Har grunnleggende erfaring med kritisk reflektion

Krav til forkunnskapar


Krav til studierett

Dette emnet har krav til studierett i Masterprogrammet i kunst.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Projekt arbeide,


individuel research,






gruppe diskussioner,



Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet

80% tilstedeværelse er forventet.


Individuel- eller gruppe-innlevering av kunstnerisk projekt.


The module is evaluated every third year in accordance with UiB's Quality System.


Programstyret har ansvar for fagleg innhald og oppbygging av studiet og for kvaliteten på studieprogrammet med emner.

Administrativt ansvarleg

Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design holds the administrative responsibility for the module and studyprogram.

Annen informasjon

Utfyllande semesteromtale

Modern colonial rule relied not only on the military and economic power of conquering nations, but also on domination over forms of cultural representation. The period of Europe´s political expansion, starting in the late fifteenth century, witnessed the development of significant new cultural technologies. From the printing press to photography, film, and sound recording technical innovations enabled novel ways of documenting and disseminating knowledge about Europe¿s encounters with the non-Western world.

Through newspapers, travelogues, popular magazines, and documentary films, European officials and travelers made images of distant colonial settings available to larger, more diverse metropolitan audiences. While such work rapidly expanded knowledge about hitherto remote regions, it was frequently riddled with stereotypes and assumptions that classified societies according to Eurocentric hierarchies. The power to represent colonized populations played an integral role in their subjugation, as narratives of backwardness and primitivity were essential elements in the justification of colonial rule.

Modern colonialism possessed a particularly ocular character, and based its ruling practices on the development of novel conventions for viewing and representing conquered lands. The earliest encounters of Europeans with Native Americans of the New World, for instance, produced an entirely new popular genre of eyewitness travel writing.

In contrast to older speculative geographies, the credibility of such early ethnographic work derived from the firsthand nature of the accounts. Many were sensationalistic survival-adventure narratives that featured voyeuristic descriptions of primitive, foreign societies, with their colorful native costumes and spectacular rituals.

Not coincidentally, this was also a period when modern techniques of observation and verification were reshaping claims to scientific authority in other fields. Breakthroughs in the study of optics and new scientific procedures for conducting experiments had emphasized the importance of visual evidence, and the accurate representation of observed phenomena. Valued for their observational insights, colonial travelogues often gained both scientific and commercial success. Many became best-selling publications and were reissued and translated into numerous different European languages.


Study Adviser can be contacted here: studierettleiar.kmd@uib.no or 55587300.