Royal Commonwealth Society : Landing horses at Valetta, Malta

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p> The British artist Alfred Hugh Fisher (1867-1945) was hired by the Colonial office Visual Instruction Committee (COVIC) to produce a photographic record of the landscape and the people of the British Empire to be used as educational tool for schoolchildren. During his journey, from 1907 to 1910, he took and purchased more than 4,000 photographs and 200 paintings. From these images COVIC produced a series of illustrated lectures and textbooks which were presented as geography lessons to schoolchildren. </p><p> COVIC’s aim was to promote imperial awareness through photography. Alongside photographs depicting the economic, cultural and social life in the British colonies, Fisher also documented maritime scenes. The strength of the British Empire lay in its fleet and in the control of the sea. Malta was a strategically significant point on the sea route to the Suez Canal, and therefore towards the east. Fisher was specifically instructed by COVIC to photograph people actively engaged in a characteristic way, as in this image, which documents the transportation of horses in La Valletta. In the background boats and fishermen complete the scene. With this image, the photographer depicted people engaged in their daily work and also highlighted the importance of commercial shipping to La Valletta. </p><p>See Janus record <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0115%2FFisher%2023%2F6091'>here</a></p>


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