The photograph, long circulated as an image of Paul Bogle—one of the leaders of what became known as the “Morant Bay Rebellion” (1865)—went missing from a national archive in Jamaica in the 1970s. The precise date and circumstances of its disappearance are unknown.
This presentation examines the histories, stories, and controversies surrounding the photograph, which was first publicly identified as a representation of Bogle almost a century after his death in 1865. What role did photography play in state, academic, and popular understandings of Bogle, the Morant Bay Rebellion, and the discipline of history in post-Independence Jamaica? What might the Bogle image reveal not only about the relationship between history and photography, but also about photographic disappearance, fugitivity, and the unarchived in the historical imagination?