The issue of ethnicity in France, and how ethnicities are represented there visually, remains one of the most important and polemical aspects of French post-colonial politics and society. This is the first book to analyse how a range of different ethnicities have been represented across contemporary French visual culture. Via a wide series of case studies – from the worldwide hit film Amélie to France’s popular TV series Plus belle la vie – it probes how ethnicities have been represented across different media, including film, photography, television and the visual arts. Four chapters examine distinct areas of particular importance: national identity, people of Algerian heritage, Jewishness and France’s second city Marseille.

From caricature to portraiture

3 Radical visual culture: from caricature to portraiture The previous chapter highlighted the importance of portraiture for shaping the identities of the political parties formed in the wake of the 1832 Reform Act. However, it was radicals who were consistently the most innovative in their exploitation of new visual technologies. This was no coincidence. Portraiture was even more valuable to radical movements, which frequently experienced media indifference or hostility. To counter this, radicals produced their own series to project their own self-image to

in Politics personified
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In the later Middle Ages visual culture – and access to it – was an expensive business. The end of the period witnessed the rise of a flourishing culture of reproduction, with widely affordable images in woodcuts and printed books. 1 But the most eye-catching developments in the visual arts remained the preserve of those with significant means – royalty and the

in Gentry culture in late-medieval England

1 The visual culture of reform, 1830–32 This chapter examines the visual culture stimulated by the popular fervour for reform, and sheds new light on the making of the 1832 Reform Act and how it was perceived at the time. Prints and other forms of material culture presented reform as revitalising and restoring balance to a moribund constitution. Just as significantly, reform of the electoral system was linked to long-demanded calls for retrenchment in the state and reduced taxation. Reform would lead to the breaking up of the ‘Old Corruption’, the web of state

in Politics personified
Representations of Marseille

: 92–5 and 150), and the adaptations of Izzo’s books hark back to John Frankenheimer’s French Connection 2 (1975), with Marseille portrayed as a city controlled by warring Italian Mafia and Maghrebi criminal gangs and now also under siege politically due to the electoral success of the National Front in southern France, with fear of crime and intolerance towards migrants settled in the city fuelling racism among its white French inhabitants. Furthermore, the city’s ethnic diversity has often been emphasised across contemporary French visual culture, where such

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
Parameters of Jewish identity

3 From the past to the present: parameters of Jewish identity As the Introduction established, there are many reasons why the representation of Jewishness in contemporary French visual culture merits consideration. First, France has the largest Jewish population in Europe – approximately 600,000 people – and third largest in the world: this number is exceeded only in the United States and Israel (Winock 2004: 352; de Lange 2000: 4). Equally there is a long history of Jewish settlement within France; it takes pride in being the first European nation to grant

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
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of visual culture that artists, filmmakers, photographers and others have sought especially to explore some of the paradoxes and challenges such a situation presents, where a dominant political philosophy actively impedes the recognition of difference, and effectively marginalises the ­importance of aspects of identification deemed contrary to it. Nevertheless, as this book developed, I was hesitant to read every case study analysed necessarily in such terms. While France’s immediate future holds little prospect of a rival doctrine unseating French republican

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture

This book discusses early modern English drama as a part of visual culture. But what is visual culture, and why use this phrase in place of the ‘fine arts’ or the ‘visual arts’? In part, this choice is motivated by my concern with exploring the plays in their historical contexts. Shakespeare and his contemporaries would not have recognised the phrase ‘fine arts’. Nor would

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
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particularly intriguing. This book probes some of the diverse ways in which different ethnicities have been represented across contemporary French visual culture. As Cole (2005: 201) has argued, France is well placed geographically. By sharing a land border with six European countries and being connected to England by an undersea channel, it can plausibly claim to be at the crossroads of Europe. Directly across the Mediterranean lie three Maghrebi countries it formerly ruled and it still possesses overseas territories in the Caribbean, South America and in the Indian and

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
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Representing people of Algerian heritage

heritage –  and of Maghrebi heritage more widely –  attract particular attention, examples of which include Tarr (2005), Durmelat and Swamy (2011), and Higbee (2013). Comparatively, far less attention has been paid to how people of Algerian heritage have been represented in other areas of contemporary French visual culture. This chapter therefore seeks to build on existing studies on cinema by considering a range of case studies taken from different media, comparing and contrasting how people of Algerian heritage have been portrayed. It also purposely seeks to remain

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture