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Royal Commonwealth Society : The dinner hour

Fisher, Alfred Hugh (1867-1945)

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p style='text-align: justify;'> 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 created 200 paintings. From these images COVIC produced a series of illustrated lectures and textbooks which were presented as geography lessons to schoolchildren. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> 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 educational topics. This image depicts a group of young Boy Scouts at a Christmas Camp by the Yarra River, Eltham, in Victoria, Australia. The Boys Scouts Association was founded by the professional British soldier Robert Baden Powell at the beginning of the twentieth century. The number of children involved in it increased rapidly and the movement’s ideology spread around the world. The aim of the association was to inspire British youth with the culture of imperialism and to strengthen colonialism ideologies; similar intentions to those of COVIC’s project. Through this photograph, Fisher wanted to show and possibly to promote the scouting movement amongst the children of the empire. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>See Janus record <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>here</a></p>

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