• Issue
  • May 01, 2023

Citra Sasmita: Imagined Cosmologies

Portrait of CITRA SASMITA. Photo by Gus Agung/Niskala Studio. All images courtesy the artist.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries European colonizers routinely controlled the image of Balinese women for economic and political gain, linking, and thereby reducing, the role of women to fertility. Colonial photographers illustrated their anthropological studies with images of bare-breasted women in order to promote the tourism trade from the 1920s onwards, while traditional Balinese Hindu culture and society had long reduced women to superficial representations: witches with aging bodies or nubile young women primed for procreation and childbirth.

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