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Transnational Cultural Propaganda

French Cultural Policies in Britain during the Second World War

Charlotte Faucher

The Second World War challenged the well-established circulation of cultural practices between France and Britain. But it also gave individuals, communities, states, and aspiring governments opportunities to invent new forms of international cultural promotion that straddled the national boundaries that the war had disrupted. Although London became the capital city of the main external Resistance movement Free France, the latter struggled to establish its cultural agenda in Britain, owing, on the one hand, to the British Council’s control over French cultural policies and, on the other hand, to the activities of anti-Gaullist Resistance fighters based in London who ascribed different purposes to French arts. While the British Council and a few French individuals worked towards prolonging French cultural policies that had been in place since the interwar period, Free French promoted rather conservative and traditional images of France so as to reclaim French culture in the name of the Resistance.

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Olivier Wieviorka

*The full text version of this article is in French

English Abstract:

Historians generally consider resistance in Europe as a national phenomenon. This vision is certainly accurate, but forgets one important datum: the Allies have played a decisive part in European resistance, by recognizing (or not) governments in exile, by authorizing (or not) the free access to the BBC, and by using their secret services (mainly the Special Operations Executive, SOE, and the Office of Strategic Services, OSS). This article tries to show how this action has shaped resistance in Western Europe, and given to the Anglo-Americans a leading part in clandestine action—even if national powers, in one way or another, have resisted this hegemony.

French Abstract:

La résistance en Europe a le plus souvent été considérée comme un combat national, tant par les hommes et les femmes qui y ont participé que par les historiens qui ont, par la suite, tenté de l’analyser. Sans contester ce schéma, il convient sans doute de l’enrichir, en admettant que l’intervention des Britanniques, puis des Américains, a contribué à européaniser la résistance. En la pliant à un modèle organisationnel unique tout d’abord ; en imposant des structures de commandement et une stratégie identiques ensuite ; en légitimant les pouvoirs en exil enfin. Ces interventions ont au total amené à une homogénéisation de l’armée des ombres sur le Vieux Continent, sans que les résistances nationales n’aliènent, pour autant, leur identité propre.

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Sartre in Austria

Boycott, Scandals, and the Fight for Peace

Juliane Werner

, that is, having fallen for Soviet propaganda, others think “Sartre wasn’t as naïve as to believe that he … could speak in his own name.” 19 Either way, Sartre tells Le Monde , non-Communist participants automatically figure as “suckers or accomplices

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Making a Colonial Culture?

Empire and the French Public, 1880-1940

Edward Berenson

Tony Chafer and Amanda Sackur, eds., Promoting the Colonial Idea: Propaganda and Visions of Empire in France (New York: Palgrave, 2002).

Pascal Blanchard and Sandrine Lemaire, Culture Coloniale: La France conquise par son Empire, 1871-1931 (Paris: Autrement, 2003).

Claude Liauzu and Josette Liauzu, Quand on chantait les colonies (Paris: Syllepse, 2002).

Patricia Morton, Hybrid Modernities: Architecture and Representation at the 1931 Colonial Exposition, Paris (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000).

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Léopold Sédar Senghor prisonnier de guerre allemand

Une nouvelle approche fondée sur un texte inédit

Raffael Scheck

Senghor was a German prisoner of war for twenty months. The article examines his claims about his captivity in light of archival evidence, in particular an unknown report about his experiences in two POW camps that he deposited at the French diplomatic mission for POWs a few months after his dismissal. The article confirms that Senghor identified himself foremost as a French patriot but argues that his claims about having been a Gaullist and resister of the first hour rest on insecure ground. In particular, Senghor after the war dramatized the story of his combat experience and made dubious claims about having been sent to a reprisal camp as a punishment for helping some prisoners escape. His captivity report, however, provides much evidence on the effects of German pro-Islamic propaganda and on corrupt prisoner networks. The report also describes many experiences reflected in his poetry cycle Hosties noires.

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Rayonnement et propagande culturels français autour de la « panlatinité »

Les échanges entre intellectuels français et hispano-américains au début du vingtième siècle

Amotz Giladi

At the beginning of the twentieth century, numerous Hispano-American writers, who were often also diplomats, arrived in Paris. They established contact with French intellectuals, mainly academics, and participated actively in French intellectual life. The exchanges between these Hispano-American and French intellectuals were based on a common identification with Latinism, a pan-nationalistic ideology developed in Europe and Latin America since the nineteenth century and calling for unification of all “Latin” peoples. Hispano-American elites and intellectuals, looking for a way to federate all Latin-American countries against the power of the United States, and seeking a rapprochement with France for political and cultural reasons, largely supported pan-Latinism. As for their French intellectual partners, eager to reinforce their country's global influence, they conveyed the pan-Latin ideology in the framework of their efforts to promote French cultural presence in Latin America. During the Great War, these cultural and intellectual initiatives concerning pan-Latinism drew the attention of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading to their integration in the newly created French international propaganda mechanism.

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David Detmer and John Ireland

role in the fierce Cold War politics—marked by propaganda and censorship—besetting that country. She suggests in particular that this Viennese episode and Sartre’s wider connection to Austria before and after the war can help us better understand the

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The Office de la Famille Française

Familialism and the National Revolution in 1940s Morocco

Margaret Cook Andersen

it by name four times. 2 Moreover, the laws associated with this propaganda were ultimately neither as sweeping nor as revolutionary as the name suggested. 3 That said, as an idea and rhetorical device the National Revolution was powerful and helped

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Deborah Evans

mobilised by this ruling elite, for example in relation to a fatwa, and who are particularly vulnerable to radicalisation and anti-Western propaganda. This is, in essence, a reverse mirroring of the Western project of class struggle towards the goal of

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A Bridge Across the Mediterranean

Nafissa Sid Cara and the Politics of Emancipation during the Algerian War

Elise Franklin

Algerian women into French citizens. Salan and Massu sought to help Algerian women as part of a concerted propaganda effort to attract Algerians to the French cause. 23 It also reflected the MSF’s commitment to a normative vision of the colonial évoluée