1950-2014 : toujours les mêmes bidonvilles | Mediapart

On the 12th of February, Mediapart visited the Bobigny camp where Mélissa, 8 years old, died because of a fire. The pictures the authors took reminded them of those taken in the 50’s in the slums of Nanterre and Saint-Denis. After researching through the archives, they compared the photos from yesterday and those from today. In nearly 50 years, few things changed, except that we don’t say slum anymore, but camp.

Le 12 février, Mediapart se rendait sur les lieux de l’incendie du camp de Bobigny où Mélissa, 8 ans, est décédée. En regardant les photos, nous sont revenues en mémoire celles prises dans les années 1950 dans les bidonvilles de Nanterre ou Saint-Denis. À l’issue d’une recherche d’archives, voici le face-à-face entre images d’hier et d’aujourd’hui. En près de 50 ans, bien peu de choses ont changé, si ce n’est qu’on ne dit plus bidonville, mais camp.

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posted il y a 6 jours

One-of-a-kind piece:
A Very special Art Nouveau tiara, circa 1900, with textured gold branches, carved horn leaves and apple blossoms, collet-set diamond pistils, baroque pearl buds, and suspending two detachable clusters of flowers and leaves. Piece by Paul Liénard, Paris | Vogue | Christie’s


One-of-a-kind piece:

A Very special Art Nouveau tiara, circa 1900, with textured gold branches, carved horn leaves and apple blossoms, collet-set diamond pistils, baroque pearl buds, and suspending two detachable clusters of flowers and leaves.
Piece by Paul Liénard, Paris | Vogue | Christie’s

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French grenadiers on the Marne, c. 1917


French grenadiers on the Marne, c. 1917

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Les Shadoks is an animated television series created by French cartoonist Jacques Rouxel (26 February 1931 - 25 April 2004) which caused a sensation in France when it was first broadcast in 1968-1974.

The Shadoks were bird-like in appearance, were characterised by ruthlessness and stupidity and inhabited a two dimensional planet. Another set of creatures in the Shadok canon are the Gibis, who are the opposite to the Shadoks in that they are intelligent but vulnerable and also inhabit a two-dimensional planet.

Rouxel claims that the term Shadok obtains some derivation from Captain Haddock of Hergé’s The Adventures of Tintin and the Gibis (who wear Bowler hats, which unlike their heads, contain their brains) are essentially GBs (Great Britons).

The Shadoks were a significant literary, cultural and philosophical phenomenon in France. Even today, the French occasionally use satirical comparisons with the Shadoks for policies and attitudes that they consider absurd. The Shadoks were noted for mottos such as:

  • "Why do it the easy way when you can do it the hard way?"
  • "When one tries continuously, one ends up succeeding. Thus, the more one fails, the greater the chance that it will work."
  • "If there is no solution, it is because there is no problem."
  • "To reduce the numbers of unhappy people, always beat up the same individuals."
  • "Every advantage has its disadvantages and vice versa."
  • "If there is one chance out of a 1000 to succeed, rush failing the 999 first tries."

The Shadoks had five monosyllabic words in their language: “Ga”, “Bu”, “Zo”, “Meu” and “Ni” (French spelling). But their brain had only four cells. So they could only remember the last four ones heard.

The Shadoks were also noted for their seemingly useless and endless pumping — as the Shadok say: “Better to pump even if nothing happens than to risk something worse happening by not pumping”.

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posted il y a 1 mois


L’avertisseur de police / Police signal posts.

Les avertisseurs de police sont apparus en 1928 et avaient la même fonction que les cabines de police britanniques, aujourd’hui un peu plus connues. La population pouvait les utiliser pour contacter le commissariat le plus proche 24h sur 24. Celui-ci se trouve au Musée de la Préfecture de Police.

Police signal posts, the French answer to the more famous British police boxes, appeared in 1928. They could be used 24/7 to contact the nearest police station. This one can be seen at the museum of police history: Musée de la Préfecture de Police.

-> 4 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, 75005.

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posted il y a 1 mois (® parisaudetail)


How to Colonize (for Kids!), as explained by this 20th century French board game:

  1. Hoist the French flag onto your newfound soil
  2. Build a hospital
  3. Erect a school
  4. Open your harbor
  5. Reap the benefits of rich natural resources from around the world and sail back to France with goodies in tow

This “trading game” is an example of the lasting mindset of the race to colonize. More from curator Isotta Poggi about this questionable game.

Trading Game: France—Colonies, 1941, O.P.I.M. (Office de publicite et d’impression), Breveté S.G.D.G. Lithograph on linen, 22 7/8 x 32 1/4 in. Getty Research Institute.

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Asia-pacific - Remembering the Bengalis who fought for France in WWI
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Letter from Pétain about Henri Bourgund’ condemnation to death

@ source

On september 1914, General Joffre, commander of the French armies in the North East declared ” Once you’re engaged in a battle where the fate of the country is at stake […], no failure can be tolerated”. Joffre obtained the creation of special war councils to judge and sentence soldiers to an immediate death.

During WW1, 2400 soldiers were sentenced to the death penalty. Among them 675 were shot for the example.

Henri Bourgund, from the bataillon des Chasseurs Alpins abandonned his post in presence of the enemy and deserting in November 1914, according to  a rapport published on the 20th of March 1915. A letter sent to General Pétain a few days later by the superior of Bourgund reminded Pétain  that asked he was asked  to apply a death sentence to set an exemple, Bourgund’s execution taking place on the 8th of November: “Jugeant que des exemples immédiats étaient nécessaires pour le maintien de la discipline, je vous demandai, le 7 novembre, après examen du dossier du chasseur Bourgund, de le faire passer par les armes, son crime étant hors de doute.”

Here is the letter of Pétain, justifying and claiming the sentence. 

Some extracts from the letter: Les faits tels qu’ils sont rapportés sont parfaitement exacts. Le 7 novembre, le général commandant la division m’a transmis la plainte établie contre le chasseur Bourgund. Il me faisait remarquer, qu’en raison de la situation très difficile dans laquelle se trouvait sa division et des défaillances qui s’étaient produites peu auparavant, il lui paraissait nécessaire de faire des exemples et de procéder sans délai à la répression des fautes commises. Il concluait en me demandant l’autorisation de faire passer par les armes le chasseur Bourgund sur la culpabilité duquel il ne pouvait exister aucun doute.

J’ai donné l’ordre de procéder immédiatement à l’exécution de ce chasseur, estimant alors, comme encore maintenant, qu’en des circonstances pareilles, il est du devoir du commandement d’assurer de semblables responsabilités

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posted il y a 2 mois

Cape. 1912, French. 

House of Worth.

Source: Met Museum.

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posted il y a 2 mois (® travellinganachronism)