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Identifying Colonial Subjects
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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Examining the introduction of fingerprinting in British sub-Saharan Africa between 1900 and 1960,... mehr
Identifying Colonial Subjects
Examining the introduction of fingerprinting in British sub-Saharan Africa between 1900 and 1960, this article demonstrates how this region became an important site of experimentation in the use of biometric methods for maintaining a racial hierarchy. Focusing on British Kenya, the article shows that many Africans experienced race-based fingerprinting as a threat to their personal honor and dignity. African opposition to this practice caused political conflict not only in Kenya, but also in the British metropole, and was a significant factor behind the emergence of the Kenyan nationalist movement.