Hanna Diamond on 'Photographic Narratives of Refugees in France. 1939-40'.
This paper analysed a number of photos which deal with the evacuation and flight of refugees during the Second World War in France. The official and strategic visual narratives produced by the military whose photographs of ‘organized’ evacuation provide a particular representation of events will firstly be explored. These images were then contrasted to other photos taken by freelance photographers, who, less subject to censorship controls, suggest very different kinds of visual narratives. Taking the example of the work of Thérèse Bonney, whose photographs chronicle the flight of the population of the village of Givet in the Ardennes to Paris in May 1940, it w argued that such photographs nuance and complicate the existing dominant visual images and narrative representations of these events.
Hanna Diamond is Reader in French History in the Department of European Studies and Modern Languages at the University of Bath. She is the author of ‘Women and the Second World War in France' and 'Fleeing Hitler: France 1940', and co-editor of ‘Vichy, Resistance, Liberation, New Perspectives on Wartime France', and 'Gendering the Occupation of France'
Christophe Declercq on 'Horsemeat on your Table: the Peculiar Intricacies of Belgian Refugees in Britain during WWI'.
When the Germans invaded Belgium on 4 August 1914 and subsequently raged through parts of the country, the event not only triggered stories of atrocities, but also set off a huge wave of refugees. In those early stages of the war, nearly one Belgian out of four fled abroad, of whom about 250,000 came to Britain. The story of Belgians in Britain between 1914 and 1919 is a peculiar one on many levels. It was the purpose of this paper to highlight some of the more striking cross-cultural encounters between Belgians and the British: the position of able refugee men, the working conditions as well as pay for refugee children, the Belgian ‘men of letters’ merging with the cultural elite in London, free education, a huge amount of translation, exile press, and specific publications.
Christophe Declercq is Lecturer in Translation at Imperial College London and is working on a PhD there on Belgian refugees in England (1914-1919). He is also a part-time lecturer at Artesis Hogeschool, Antwerp University College, as well as a freelance translator, localisation consultant, and editor of a literary magazine.