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Contemporary French cinema and the Second World War

Nazi-occupied France, 16 July 1942. The French police arrest 13,152 Jewish residents of Paris and hold them at the Vélodrome d’Hiver before facilitating their deportation to extermination camps, over two-thirds to Auschwitz. Not until 1995, on the fifty-third anniversary of the Vél’ d’Hiv roundup, was the French authorities’ complicity in this event officially acknowledged in a speech by newly elected president Jacques Chirac: ‘France, land of the Enlightenment and of Human Rights … France, on that day, committed an irreparable act.’ Reframing remembrance: Contemporary French cinema and the Second World War argues that Chirac’s speech marked a shift in the way French society, and its filmmakers, commemorated the Second World War. By following Henry Rousso’s model (outlined in Le syndrome de Vichy), viewing historical films as vectors of memory, this book analyses cinematic representations of the Occupation as expressions of commemoration. It charts the evolution of Second World War stories told on French screens and argues that more recent films are concerned with the collective experience of the Occupation, the pedagogical responsibility of historical films and with adopting a self-reflective approach to their narrative structures. With its catalogue-like structure and clear thematic analysis of key concepts such as resistance, collaboration and legacy, Reframing remembrance is an informative and accessible investigation into French cinema and its treatment of the Second World War.

Authoritarianism, agency, and everyday life
Author: Keith Rathbone

Wartime physical culture in France encompasses two complementary phenomena: a massive State investment in national regeneration, best exemplified by the creation of a sports bureaucracy (the Commissariat général à l'éducation générale et aux sports) and a concomitant rise in participation among ordinary people who during the wartime joined local sporting associations in greater numbers than ever before. Why did popular participation in sports explode during the wartime and how much did the Government’s programmes succeed in using the popularity of athletics to promote their conservative ideology?

This book sets out to explore the interplay between these two circumstances. The first two chapters examine the French State’s role in the development of sports during the interwar period through to the Occupation. The second half of the book centres on popular participation in sports. Chapter 3 deals with physical education in State schools while chapter 4 investigates how the largest professional clubs survived the Vichy State’s attempt to deprofessionalise sports. Chapter 5 looks at a dozen local sporting associations to better understand how ordinary French people used their clubs to overcome the hardships imposed by the Germans and the Vichy Government. Each of these chapters emphasises the power of everyday French men and women to frustrate the Government’s physical cultural agenda. A final chapter provides a finale to the book, examining what happened to sports after the Liberation of France, and how sporting organisations reshaped their institutional memory of the wartime through the lens of collaboration and resistance.

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Lucie Aubrac, Bon Voyage, Les Femmes de l’ombre and L’Armée du crime

1940, was for many of our compatriots the wake-up call, the starting point for a vast movement of resistance.) Introduction: resistance on screen French cinematic representation of the Second World War is dominated by images of resistance. This is particularly true for films from the late 1940s through to the 1980s. Films, functioning as cultural acts of commemoration, were deployed to reinforce the Gaullist myth of universal French resistance during the

in Reframing remembrance
Transnational resistance in Europe, 1936–48
Editors: Robert Gildea and Ismee Tames

This work demonstrates that resistance to occupation by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the Second World War has to be seen through a transnational, not a national, lens. It explores how people often resisted outside their country of origin because they were migrants, refugees or exiles who were already on the move. It traces their trajectories and encounters with other resisters and explores their experiences, including changes of beliefs, practices and identities. The book is a powerful, subtle and thought-provoking alternative to works on the Second World War that focus on single countries or on grand strategy. It is a ‘bottom up’ story of extraordinary individuals and groups who resisted oppression from Spain to the Soviet Union and the Balkans. It challenges the standard chronology of the war, beginning with the formation of the International Brigades in Spain and following through to the onset of the Cold War and the foundation of the state of Israel. This is a collective project by a team of international historians led by Robert Gildea, author of Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance (Faber & Faber, 2015). These have explored archives across Europe, the USA, Russia and Israel in order to unearth scores of fascinating individual stories which are woven together into themed chapters and a powerful new interpretation. The book is aimed at undergraduates and graduates working on twentieth-century Europe and the Second World War or interested in the possibilities of transnational history.

Transnational catalyst of Europe’s anti-Nazi resistance
Yaacov Falkov and Mercedes Yusta-Rodrigo

was echoed by his compatriot and former Romanian comrade-in-arms Charlotte (Sarolta) Gruia, who testified that ‘Those who had fought in Spain, in the International Brigades, were the first of us to be involved in the French Resistance.’8 A transnational founding trio in France In France, early resistance activity was either sporadic protest or demonstrations or small groups seeking to release POWs, procure military intelligence or spread propaganda. Armed resistance began in the summer of 1941, shortly after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, and was the work

in Fighters across frontiers
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Eminence grise for African affairs
Jean-Pierre Bat

components of scandal – power, secrets, money, police activities – are brought together. In this context, Africa – the ‘domaine réservé’ (preserve) of the President – appears as a film negative for the fairly disreputable methods used by Foccart behind the scenes (Péan 1990). Endeavouring to outline the boundaries of Foccart’s power and influence over African affairs comes down to tracing the thread of a life built on Gaullist militancy. The Gaullist baron and the RPF in Africa (1940–1958) Foccart’s actual political career began with the French Resistance: under the name

in Francophone Africa at fifty
Past crimes, present memories
Author: Claire Gorrara

French crime fiction and the Second World War explores France's preoccupation with memories of the Second World War through an examination of crime fiction, one of popular culture's most enduring literary forms. The study analyses representations of the war years in a selection of French crime novels from the late 1940s to the 2000s. All the crime novels discussed grapple with the challenges of what it means for generations past and present to live in the shadow of the war: from memories of French resistance and collaboration to Jewish persecution and the legacies of the concentration camps. The book argues that crime fiction offers novel ways for charting the two-way traffic between official discourses and popular reconstructions of such a contested conflict in French cultural memory.

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Trajectories and legacies
Scott Soo

This concluding chapter reiterates that the ‘routes’ to the Spanish republican exile in France are to be found in the refugees’ reactions to the interactive, spatial, and temporal dynamics of daily life. In the course of the discussion, the chapter draws attention to a number of issues. A symbiotic approach to history and memory is useful for understanding just how deeply refugees were affected by their arrival and subsequent relations in France. Secondly, the relationship between asylum and the economy is highlighted along with the ways in which the Spanish republicans sought to maintain a degree of agency over the type, place and conditions of work.

This chapter closes with the issue of memory. More particularly, it questions the prominence of Gaullist and (French) resistance discourses at the Liberation by drawing attention to the array of French-Spanish republican commemorative events which occurred at the local level. It then outlines the legacy of the Spanish republicans’ remembrance practices in contemporary France and the accompanying transnational dynamic.

in The routes to exile
Robert Gildea and Olga Manojlović Pintar

d’Aran, hoping to raise a revolt in Spain.7 After these attacks from abroad failed, the PCE under Santiago Carrillo decided to encourage guerrilla activity inside Spain. Many experienced fighters, veterans of the French resistance and members of the Communist Party, were sent to reinforce existing groups and to stir up the civilian population, especially peasants. The PCE leadership hoped to see an insurrection, which they envisioned along the lines of the last stages of the war in France.8 However, Carrillo and the PCE leadership were suspicious of transnational

in Fighters across frontiers
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Activism and design in Italy
Author: Ilaria Vanni

Precarious objects is a book about activism and design. The context is the changes in work and employment from permanent to precarious arrangements in the twenty-first century in Italy. The book presents design interventions that address precarity as a defuturing force affecting political, social and material conditions. Precarious objects shows how design objects, called here ‘orientation devices’, recode political communication and reorient how things are imagined, produced and circulated. It also shows how design as a practice can reconfigure material conditions and prefigure ways to repair some of the effects of precarity on everyday life. Three microhistories illustrate activist repertoires that bring into play design, and design practices that are grounded in activism. While the vitality, experimental nature and traffic between theory and praxis of social movements in Italy have consistently attracted the interest of activists, students and researchers in diverse fields, there exists little in the area of design research. This is a study of design activism at the intersection of design theory and cultural research for researchers and students interested in design studies, cultural studies, social movements and Italian studies.