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As important as the writings, and perhaps even more so, were the black and white
images captured on film. Reprinted in such a way that the writing further enhanced the
photographic impact, these early images gave Europeans a glimpse into the far off and exotic
world of Bali, profoundly affecting the way the island was envisioned by those who would travel
to Bali, and by those dreaming to do so. Later photographic works such as those by Margaret
Mead and Gregory Bateson, although presented quite differently, were likely influenced by
these earliest images.
The first official tourist to Bali was the Dutch parliamentarian Henri H van Kol, who
visited in 1902. (Pringle, 2004: 128-129) Although Dutch and, as such, part of the population of
colonizers within the Indonesian archipelago, van Kol was a tourist as his visit to Bali did not
involve any official business. Significantly, his visit resulted in a book, Uit Onze Kolonien (From
Our Colonies), an 800 page travel book of sorts, chronicling his time spent traveling throughout
the Indonesian archipelago. The book, published in 1903, included a significant amount of
information about Bali, along with a substantial collection of photographs. (ibid.)
Several years later, in 1912, Gregor Krause, a German doctor posted in Bali, would begin
to document his time there with one of the world’s earliest portable cameras. This book would
be influential on future visitors and theorists, such as Miguel Covarrubias, who would note how
the book influenced his decision to travel to Bali. (Covarrubias, 1937: xvii) In fact, Krause`s book
is viewed by some as the “decisive first step” toward the promotion of tourism on the island.
(Shavit, 2003: 18)
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