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Balinese beauties c 1940

photographer unknown

Travelling and encountering new people, cultures and experiences often serves as a powerful aphrodisiac. Australian servicepeople on deployment, like many other travellers, have often been guilty of viewing local people as the exotic ‘other’. This problematic objectification of people has been shaped by contemporary attitudes towards race, culture, power, and class.

The sexual politics notwithstanding, this nude postcard of a Balinese woman collected by Captain Lieutenant Jim Bryant MM and kept by him throughout his captivity at Changi prisoner of war camp, Singapore, served as a treasured beacon of hope during that dark time boosting his morale considerably.