Paris libéré, Paris photographié, Paris exposé

la-liberation-de-paris-journees-historiquesThis summer is the 70th anniversary of the dramatic events that led up to the liberation of Paris. Opening on June 11 and running until March 1, 2015, the musée Carnavalet will be exhibiting photos that commemorate the arrival of General Leclerc and the Allies: “Paris libéré, Paris photographié, Paris exposé” (pearee leeb-air-ay, pearee foe-toe-graf-ee-ay, pearee ex-poe-zay).

Doisneau LiberationThis isn’t the first exhibit about the Liberation the Carnavalet has mounted. The first was only two and half months later, in November 1944, while France and the Allies were still fighting against the Nazis. The curator, who was also a member of the Resistance, wanted to secure materials that would be “indispensable to the historian of the future.” To that end, he appealed to the press to contribute photos and documents that recorded those final days of occupation. The exhibit was wildly popular, tapping into the emotion of darkness that turned into euphoria.

Doisneau Liberation 2This anniversary exhibit attempts to recreate the original one, with photos by Robert Doisneau, René Zuber, and Jean Séeberger among others. This time, there’s more effort made to contextualize the images by including film from the time, videos of interviews with those who witnessed the Liberation, as well as objects that bear silent witness to the fight of those who lived in Paris during those fraught days.

Robert Doisneau Barricades, Paris, 1944One of the interesting aspects of the exhibit will be the effort to help visitors understand what it’s like to create images during war-time and the role they play in creating a collective memory of events. Sometimes that “memory” is highly subjective, and the same image can be interpreted differently by those who observe it. Did the events that we “remember” actually happen? Interesting stuff.

  • Hôtel Carnavalet
  • 16, rue des Francs-Bourgeois
  • Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm

51pE3uPz+AL__SL75_The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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4 Responses to Paris libéré, Paris photographié, Paris exposé

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Hotels in Paris based on Travelers Reviews - Bully Reviews

  2. This is definitely an exhibit we don’t want to miss. There are so many versions of what happened during the war, and memory is a tricky thing. Even photographs can tell a story that may not necessarily be true. Thank you for letting us know about it.

  3. Pingback: Un Aide-mémoire | One quality, the finest.

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