In the year that marks fifty years since the Evian Accords - which paved the way for Algerian independence - this exhibition, organised by the Musée de l'Armée in association with Casterman, looks back on 130 years of French military presence in Algeria, from conquest to independence. With emphasis on an historical and educational approach and the wider picture, the exhibition guides the visitor through the complex relationship that existed and continues to exist between the two countries.
On display are some 250 works of art, paintings, documents (both official and personal), uniforms, photographs, films, and press clippings. These items - which come from the museum's collection or have been lent by participating French archives, museums, libraries and institutions - retrace the history of French involvement in Algeria. The visitor is introduced to the key historical figures, as well as the causes and effects of France's arrival in the region. Particular emphasis will be placed on the way the events that have marked this shared history have been represented in various media forms, most notably audio-visual documents including documentaries, news reels, film, and TV series.
The Belgian publishing house Casterman and in particular Jacques Ferrandez's series of graphic novels Carnets d'Orient are also participants in the exhibition. Over the course of ten volumes, Ferrandez - the series' author and artist - retells the story of a family of Pieds-noirs from the 1830s through to the end of the 1950s. Ferrandez's depiction of the period not only highlights the continued relevance of this history of colonisation and decolonisation but also serves as a fascinating insight into the way an author of fiction selects, assimilates and interprets their source material.
The minisite (external link) set up by the museum organisers offers an introduction to the subject and additional reading material to accompany the exhibition.
16 May - 29 July 2012
Musée de l'Armée
Hôtel des Invalides
129 Rue de Grenelle
Everyday: 10am - 6pm (until 9pm on Thursdays, 6.30pm on Sundays)
Closed the first Monday of May and June.
Opening times are provided purely for reference. The Fondation Napoléon offers no guarantee as to the accuracy of this information. Consultation with the institution before visiting is recommended.