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Reframing war: histories and memories of the Second World War in the photography of Julia Pirotte

Diamond, Hanna ORCID: and Gorrara, Claire Jacqueline ORCID: 2012. Reframing war: histories and memories of the Second World War in the photography of Julia Pirotte. Modern and Contemporary France 20 (4) , pp. 453-471. 10.1080/09639489.2012.720434

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This article examines the photographic narratives of the Second World War produced by Jewish Polish-Belgian e´migre´ photographer Julia Pirotte and their post-war trajectory. It begins by proposing a set of critical frames which ground the analysis of Pirotte’s press photographs of the Liberation of Marseille in 1944. It explores the narratives of liberation and resistance transmitted in these photographs and demonstrates how these photographs were mobilised to build and promote a ‘national’ picture of French activism and unity at the war’s end. The article then proceeds to examine the ‘afterlives’ of Pirotte’s photographs and the ways in which they have been successively reframed to tell different war stories. In particular, this article connects Pirotte’s photographs and their reproduction to fraught debates on the histories and legacies of the Resistance and argues that they have been used, on a number of occasions, to make visible the contribution of foreigners to the French Resistance. This is evidenced in the re-captioning of her photographs for various publication and exhibition projects since the 1990s. By interrogating how Pirotte’s photographic narratives of liberation and resistance have been re-presented for different post-war audiences, this article makes a case for photography as an influential cultural medium which continues to shape the contours of French war memory today.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
D History General and Old World > DC France
Additional Information: Special Issue: Gender, Politics and the Social in Historical Perspective: Essays in Honour of Siân Reynolds
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0963-9489
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:51

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