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Re-membering the Past

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In 1902, the US Naval Government of Guam began recluding the island's leprosy patients in a colony located on the island's Ypao Beach, but in 1912 deported them to the Culion Leper Colony in the Philippines, where they lived for the remainder of their lives. This paper examines two kinds of photographic artefact that speak to the history of Hansen's Disease on Guam — a single postcard of the Ypao leper colony and clinical photographs of 21 patients, taken just prior to their relocation from Guam to Culion. In the process, this paper introduces medical photography as a topic worthy of closer scrutiny in Pacific History, demonstrating some of the intersections and tensions between photography, colonialism, tropical medicine and islander agency that can be read in photographs, even as their meanings change with time and context.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Humanities, College of Liberal Arts and Science, University of Guam,

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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