Paris Photography after the Commune: remembering to forget

Wilson, Colette E. (2007) Paris Photography after the Commune: remembering to forget. In: Photography: theory, practice, debate, 22 October 2007, Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Stewart House, Russell Square.. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

While the photography of the city in the immediate aftermath of the defeat of the Paris Commune of 1871 has generated much debate and interpretation, the images produced in the decade that followed have surprisingly been rather overlooked. Certainly examples of Charles Marville's and Edouard Baldus's government commissioned photographs of the reconstruction of the city and the completion of some of Haussmann's schemes in the mid 1870s have been documented but such studies have typically focused on the aesthetic qualities of their images, thus marginalising the political and memorialist context in which such photographs were produced, purchased and viewed. In my paper, therefore, I argue that certain representations of Paris by Baldus and Marville in the 1870s exemplify the response of the conservative bourgeoisie – the intended purchasers or viewers of their photographs – to the demise of Napoleon III's Second Empire, the brutal repression of Commune, and the subsequent reinvention of Paris as a modern, moral, hygienic metropolis during the early Third Republic. This paper takes up one of the aspects discussed in my book, entitled Paris and the Commune 1871-78: the politics of forgetting (November 2007, Manchester University Press).

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Lecture)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
N Fine Arts
D History General and Old World
T Technology > TR Photography
D History General and Old World > DC France
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Colette Wilson
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2008 15:18
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:09
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/2811 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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