Invisible Armies: French Colonial Soldiers During World War I and Their Absence from History
World War I is an incredibly significant event in world history and continues to loom large in French memory today. Unfortunately, memory is often unreliable and as a result, people, places, and events can easily be forgotten, as is the case with French colonial soldiers during World War I. Colonial soldiers, particularly those from French West Africa, suffered a great deal because of their forced involvement in the conflict. Despite the major disruption the war had on their lives, however, the ways French media at the time chose to depict these soldiers was based almost exclusively on stereotypes and mockery. The imagery used to portray colonial soldiers throughout the course of World War I would go on to influence the ways that French people thought about colonialism long after the war ended. Representations of colonial soldiers in World War I France play a key role in shaping how these soldiers are remembered in France today, particularly in spaces for education, like museums and classrooms.
Course: History 440/Honors 489 – Research Capstone/Senior Project: Honors Research
Colonialism, France, Museums, Posters, World War I
European History | Museum Studies
Anderson, Molly, "Invisible Armies: French Colonial Soldiers During World War I and Their Absence from History" (2020). Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Showcase. 1.