Colonial subjects and citizens in the French (Internal) Resistance
- Start date: 1 March 2020
- End date: 1 September 2025
- Funder: Office National des Combattants et des Victimes de Guerre (France)
- Primary investigator: Professor Nina Wardleworth
Eleanor Dufton; Elizabeth Angus
This research project examines how the roles played by colonial subjects in the French (Internal) Resistance provide a reassessment of the place of colonial migration to France in the interwar years, and of the presence and agency of colonial subjects who were not soldiers or prisoners or war during the Occupation of France. It also investigates the insights that post-war (non-)commemoration of colonial fighters can provide into France’s process of decolonisation.
More than 1800 men and women from virtually all the territories of the French Empire took part in a variety of resistance activities (Assassination, Sabotage, Armed uprisings, Spying and Information gathering, Sheltering other fighters and Allied soldiers). Hundreds were killed by the German occupiers or the French collaborationist police or paramilitary organisations or deported to concentration camps.
Exhibition: Liberated by the Empire? Colonial Resistors and Soldiers during World War Two, Mont-Valérien Memorial, Paris (June 2023-May 2024).
Co-curated with Dr Julie Le Gac (University of Paris-Nanterre) and Dr Julian Fargettas (ONaCVG)
An English language version of the exhibition will be staged at the French Institute in London, August-October 2023 and at the University of Leeds, November 2023-January 2024.