This autumn, the Musée de l'Armée is organising an exhibition about 100 years of French military presence in Indochina. Taking a comparative look at the histories of France, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, "Indochina. Land and People, 1856-1956" invites the general public to learn about the complexity and richness of Indochina's colonial history through the action of French soldiers.
Visit the exhibition website See the exhibition's YouTube playlist
This exhibition, designed as the second section in the diptych that began in 2012 with the exhibition Algeria, 1830 - 1962. With Jacques Ferrandez, addresses the delicate processes of colonisation and decolonisation in an educational and accessible way. Made up of 350 exhibits brought together here for the first time ever, the exhibition is organised into 4 parts. Everyday objects, uniforms, photographic archives, newspaper extracts and maps help visitors to see and understand France's first steps beyond the Route to the Indies before 1856, the formation of French Indochina from 1856 to 1907, and the heart of colonial life from 1907 to 1939, all the way to the decline and fall of the French Empire in the Far East. The Musée de l'Armée's large collection for this period, part of which has never been on display before, tells the story along with paintings, drawings, objects, uniforms, and paper, photograph and film archives from private collections and many major institutions in this field.
Many cultural events will accompany the exhibition. Online, you can find the detailed programmes for the conference series, the Indochine now! film series (in partnership with the BnF and MK2) and concerts in connection with the exhibition.
The exhibition is part of the France-Vietnam Year organised to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations being established between the two countries.
Photo credits: 1-2 © Paris - Musée de l'Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Emilie Cambier; 3-4 © Paris - Musée de l'Armée; 5 © Paris - Musée de l'Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / ECPAD.