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Bakel, 1891 : anatomie d’une crise médiatique

Abstract : In April 1891, one of the major illustrated papers of 19th-century France, L’Illustration, published ghastly engravings of decapitated corpses from actual photographs. Joannès Barbier, a photographer who was in Bakel (Senegal) at the time, recorded the scene of what looked like summary executions. French troops in the area seemed to have a degree of responsibility in the atrocities. This article sets out to analyze the production of these photographs, their subsequent circulation and the mutations of their contrasted interpretations as they were received by a varied audience, both in France and in West Africa. The careful study of this specific photo-graphic controversy, as well as the issue of the imagery of colonial wars at large, is an opportunity to assess changing thresholds of and contradictory discourses in the age of high imperialism. This case study is an illustration of how crucial it is to approach the photographic corpus related to the so-called “distant wars” of European colonialism with appropriate research methodologies.
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Contributor : Daniel Foliard <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - 1:56:50 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 9:54:32 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02278468, version 1


Daniel Foliard. Bakel, 1891 : anatomie d’une crise médiatique. Revue d’histoire du XIXe siècle, La Société de 1848, 2019, 58 (1). ⟨hal-02278468⟩



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