Welcome to Francophone Africa: beyond archives. Bienvenue sur le site du projet l’Afrique francophone : au-delà des archives. Nous espérons que ce message vous trouve sain et sauf. We hope you are staying safe and well. Project events are on hold for the time being but there are plenty of activities to engage with on the site.
News for researchers and professionals: our government-funded Global Challenges Research project on falling literacy levels among girls in the war zones of francophone Africa is accessible under Gender and Literacy on the RESEARCH page. The data examined at the recent Institute for Modern Languages Research training seminar in London are uploaded in the Gender & Literacy zone.
While are own live events are suspended we are posting on related events and decolonising initiatives.
Francophone Africa: beyond archives
l’Afrique francophone: au-delà des archives
Meet the team and learn about the origins of the project by clicking here.
You have arrived on a multidimensional digital platform holding a unique collection of historical and contemporary resources on regions of Africa occupied by France during the colonial era.
The resources cover a huge area of the continent from Senegal on the Atlantic coast to the French-speaking countries of central Africa.
Our scholarly materials and archives offer research and teaching opportunities for critical evidence-based analysis of European colonisation in Africa in the past, and its enduring impact in our time.
Archives are cultural objects where we uncover the silences as well as the dominant discourses that shaped colonial worlds and continue to shape the lives and the futures of populations living in the aftermath of empires. They are both historical and dynamic, both open to critical examination and a call to action.
Images also serve as rich sources of information here, more often than not requiring us to look beyond the scene. Our homepage desktop photo is one example.
This picture of the Dakar 1930 scout troop draws our attention to key aspects in the making of the colonial world: its militaristic visual vocabulary, its gendered values, the nostalgic pull photos can exercise over current generations.
Our visual texts provide a stepping stone into historical analysis and a window on to the legacies these highly organised colonial worlds hand down to us today. You will find throughout this site an abundance of images, disturbing, subtle, powerful, and sometimes inspiring, including contemporary artworks.
Human rights and gender justice are key themes in this site. We explore these historically and in the contemporary world.
The SAVINEAU REPORT is a unique, complete, and fully digitised set of 18 reports written by a white French woman about Black African women and families living under French rule in the 1930s. It offers an extraordinary insight into gender inequalities and human rights abuses in the colonial world.
In addition to meeting real people living under colonisation, the SAVINEAU REPORT also offers insights on how and why gender inequalities persist across French-speaking West Africa into the present day.
Gender inequalities are among the biggest global challenges facing the post-pandemic world.
Inequalities documented in the SAVINEAU REPORT are worsening in some of the countries in the region. We return to these in the Gender Justice and Gender & Literacy zone on the RESEARCH page.
Addressing the UN sustainable development goals 2030, we have produced infographics highlighting important and negative trends in gender equality in 7 countries in our region.
These infographics illustrate how gender equality targets in education and literacy have been missed by a mile in the 21st century.
Rising violence and kidnappings in the region over the past decade have forced many more girls out of school. The situation for girls was worsening even before Covid-19 struck in 2020.
Teachers are invited to explore materials suitable for classroom activities in LEARN – which include resources selected for GCSE Geography, French, History curricula – and in ACTIVITIES.
A list of websites, archives, and other resources of interest to teachers and researchers is accessible in LINKS.
The CONTACT page provides information on how to get in touch with us.
We hope you enjoy your time on this site and find resources of interest and value. You are welcome to use the resources citing as your source: Francophone Africa: beyond archives www.francophoneafricaarchive.org. Si vous voulez citer une source ou une information présentée dans le site, nous vous prions de bien vouloir citer notre siteWeb ainsi: Francophone Africa: beyond archives www.francophoneafricaarchive.org
Please let us know if you found what you needed, and do feel free to get involved in debates around these topics in English, French or in African languages. Veuillez consulter la page CONTACT pour échanger avec nous et, le cas échéant, proposer des ressources ou fonctionnalités supplémentaires en vue d’améliorer votre utilisation de ce siteweb et de ses ressources.
For a short introduction to the website from the project director click play below.
Malian writer and ethnologist (1901-1991) , first African scholar at the Institut français de l'Afrique noire (IFAN).
Amadou Ba met Denise Savineau in October 1937 in Bamako. She writes about their encounter in Report 1, describing Ba as well educated, a devout Muslim, and influential in the local Peul community. She also identifies the writers that occupy his bookshelves, noting that his books include works by Pascal, Dumas and A Thousand and One Nights.
Call the Midwife
Graduates from the 1939 intake of the Midwifery College in Senegal, French West Africa
Colonial Health Services
French health services in colonial times were first provided by the Navy, and then by a civilian service headed by male French doctors. Gradually African professionals were allowed entry in assistant positions. Initially women were excluded completely, but then midwives and community nurses gained access in the inter-war era, and, as Savineau reports, were making their mark in the 1930s.
One of the first African colonial administrators (1897-1940)
Dim Delobsom was the son of a local notable from Ouagadougou in the Mossi country. He was a published scholar and won a major prize for his book entitled ‘Les Secrets des sorciers noirs’ in 1934. He was also criticised in some quarters for strongly opposing the influence of the local, powerful Catholic mission. He died at a relatively young age, the cause of which is not entirely clear.