Here’s another Flickr photo set that I find neat and exceptional: Paris during the German occupation as shot by Andre Zucca for the German propaganda magazine Signal.
I like that the author (curator?) of the set makes a special note about how to effectively read an image:
Nevertheless these photos can be a bit controversial for those who havent studied daily life in occupied countries.
People seem to have forgotten that (at least at the surface) daily life continued as before.
People had little choice, the occupation of France lasted 4 years, people had to go to work, they had to put bread on the table.
Even those involved in resistance or collaboration would walk the streets to go shopping, enjoy a strawl in the park, have a drink in a bar, etc.
But even in these shots the real dark side of occupation cant be hidden completely.
We see very fashionable ladies wearing amazing shoes, few people will realise that these are wartime shoes made from inferior materials.
Those heels look peculiar for reason.
We see the jewish people walking the streets wearing the star of David, we see people fishing, how do we know if they are fishing for fun or to bring some extra food to their rations?
We see the funny bicycle carts, do people think they are just charming or do they realise they replaced taxis because there was a petrol shortage?
Look at these photos and then look again.
Look at the details, is everyone really happy and having fun?
Are all the clothes nice and new?
Are the shoes all fashionable?
Are we really looking at a happy life during the occupation in Gay Paris, or are we looking at what the photographer wanted us to see and is it all just a carefully staged image?
I’m also pretty into these shoes.
One of each, please.