‘Magic Visions, Portraying and inventing South Africa with lantern slides’

1 maart 2022
Auteur: Team Zuid-Afrikahuis
Foto: ZAH


In February 2022, the second publication of the Zuid-Afrikahuis (SZAHN) series was launched introducing Magic Visions, Portraying and inventing South Africa with lantern slides. The volume contains a prologue and an epilogue written by the editors and 12 essays by the authors invited to participate in this volume.

About the volume

The Zuid-Afrikahuis collection contains five series of lantern slides with 506 images about South Africa from what seemed to be the first half of the twentieth century. The slides promote, even brand, South Africa to stimulate travellers’ imaginations. Most slides had small papers glued to them with text written in one language or multiple languages (Afrikaans, English, Dutch). These papers had short descriptions on what was to be seen. They reflected an European view on South Africa common during that time. In this volume both the images and their descriptions are subject of analysis. 

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About the essays

Ida Sabelis walks us through the collection to give us a first glimpse of the South Africa that is portrayed in the lantern slides. Gerrit Schutte analyses the provenance and the use of the lantern slide collection at the Zuid-Afrikahuis. Sarah Dellmann continues on the same topic with her analysis of the NZAV’s efforts to inform a Dutch audience about South Africa. Carol Hardijzer shifts our perspective from the Netherlands to South Africa. Danelle van Zyl-Hermann engages with the visual fascination for train travel as portrayed in the slides. Rosa Deen takes up another strong visual of South Africa, the protea and other wild flowers from the Cape area. Hanneke Stuit traces how the South African countryside is portrayed in the slides and how this may have worked on the imaginations of prospective migrants. Ena Jansen takes two slides as a medium in between memories and histories. For Leonor Faber-Jonker, the slides are a box of unfolding historical experiences as well. Frans Kamsteeg and Harry Wels discuss the statues that feature in the lantern slide collection. Eep Francken and Olf Praamstra also touch on the history of giving meanings to objects and turning these into icons.


Title: MAGIC VISIONS, Portraying and inventing
South Africa with lantern slides

Edited by Jeltsje Stobbe, Rosa Deen
and Margriet van der Waal
Published: February 2022 |
Digital | Free download | 270 pages | 
ISBN 978-90-830385-3-7

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