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
Welcome Nous vous souhaitons la bienvenue
Meet the team and learn about the origins of the project by clicking here.
You have arrived on a multidimensional digital platform housing a unique collection of historical and contemporary resources on areas of Africa occupied by France during the colonial era. Scholarly materials exploring the impact of French colonisation in Africa and multiple digitised resources related to the aftermath of colonisation are available here for you to view on OPEN ACCESS.
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 futures of populations living in the aftermaths of empire. Archives are both historical and dynamic, both open to critical examination and a call to action.
The photo on this front page draws 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. Images provide us with a stepping stone into historical analysis and a window on the legacies these highly organised worlds hand down to us today. You will find an abundance of images, disturbing, subtle, powerful, and sometimes inspiring, including contemporary artworks, on this site.
A unique resource available here is a digital set of historical archives called the SAVINEAU REPORT. It was written by a white French woman about Black African women and families in the 1930s. The archives are interrogated in relation to the perception of inequalities of gender and race engendered by the colonial system, and the persistence of such inequalities into the present day.
Gender inequalities documented in the SAVINEAU REPORT are recognised today in the UN’s sustainable development goals 2030. In the Gender & Literacy zone located under RESEARCH we present the latest open access data on one particularly visible aspect of inequality: unequal access to literacy. You are welcome to use the resources uploaded here citing as your source: Francophone Africa: beyond archives www.francophoneafricaarchive.org.
Please use the CONTACT page to let us know if you found what you needed, if not please do not hesitate to get in touch, en anglais ou en français. 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. Merci.
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.