Yaël Simpson Fletcher
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‘Capital of the Colonies’
Real and imagined boundaries between metropole and empire in 1920s Marseilles
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This chapter attempts to draw together the insights of the new post-colonial studies and of urban social history. It investigates questions related to the location of the 1922 Colonial Exposition in Marseilles, a city intimately connected with the French empire. The chapter considers how the 1922 Colonial Exposition was defined simultaneously as a work site, as a living space and as a political arena for different kinds of French colonial subjects. It discusses the ways in which the organisers, visitors and local residents viewed the exposition and its relation to the surrounding city. The chapter focuses on the struggles of colonial workers in Marseilles, both on and off the exposition grounds. It explores the use of colonial soldiers to represent the bonds between nation and empire. The chapter examines the range of interactions between Marseilles residents and colonial subjects in the exposition.

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Imperial cities

Landscape, display and identity


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