Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine - BDIC
Hôtel national des Invalides
129 rue de Grenelle
Métro La Tour Maubourg, Varenne, Invalides
RER C Invalides
Bus 28, 63, 82, 83, 87, 92, 93, 69
Ouverture de 10 h à 17 h, tous les jours sauf le premier lundi de chaque mois, le 25 décembre 2010 et le 1er janvier 2011
5 € plein tarif
3 € tarif réduit
Entrée à tarif réduit sur présentation d'un ticket d'entrée au Musée de l'Armée le même jour.
Entrée à tarif réduit au Musée de l'Armée sur présentation d'un ticket d'entrée à l'exposition Orages de papier le même jour.
Visites guidées sur rendez-vous : le matin sauf le premier lundi du mois et le week-end : scolaires et tous publics
Orages de papier - BDIC
This exhibition is the result of a Franco-German partnership established between the BNU in Strasbourg, the Württembergische Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart, the French National Library (BnF), and the Library of International Contemporary Documentation (BDIC); and has already been presented to the public in Strasbourg and in Germany. It brings together the war collections of the four institutions; their common feature is that they have all been able to collect a wealth of documentation on the Great War right from the outset.
A mediatised conflict
The exhibition, which is very definitely the first of its kind, makes it possible to have a full view of the propaganda surrounding the first global war of the twentieth century and to understand the media "storms" that rained down on the war on an unprecedented scale. The approach adopted shows the propaganda in terms of both its production and the way it was received by public opinion.
The displays include posters, leaflets and filmed images; they question the very nature of the communication media and their use as a formidable weapon of war at the heart of what was also a major media war. This was the first time that mass propaganda used all the technical resources of the new media offered by the industrial era (including photography and animated images). This is the starting point for the development of the major contemporary media.
Although the exhibition broaches the difficult subject of the manipulation of information, it also offers an opportunity to discover such exceptional and rare documents as trench newspapers and the personal diaries and correspondence of ordinary soldiers.
A flood of paper and images
Mass propaganda was set up as soon as war broke out. The aim was not only to inform the public by using notices and posters, but also to mobilise civilians by using illustrated posters calling on them to support the war effort. One of the most spectacular means of propaganda remains the pamphlet, which was directed at the enemy lines on a large scale.
All the newspapers, whether they were directed at the troops or at the civilian population, also took part in this manipulation, under the control of the military authorities. It was characteristic of the First World War that most of the trench newspapers written by and for the ordinary soldiers were aimed at keeping up morale, and were therefore censored by the authorities. Soldiers' personal letters and diaries also reflect this biased reconstruction of the reality of the front, although in a number of cases there is an effort to reflect its horror.
Images are also present as an essential feature of the written propaganda. Postcards maintained contact between the front and the civilian population, while photographs - also controlled and censored - gave the illusion of a clean war. At the same time, the patriotic cinema affirmed the pwoer of its influence. Old artistic forms returned to favour during the war - it was the last time painting was used during an international conflict, as photography quickly took its place. Many painters, including Félix Vallotton and Maurice Denis, were sent off with the army with instructions to bring back artistic witness. Popular - mainly patriotic - songs circulated more quickly with the development of records.
The "storms of paper" were a reflection of the "storms of steel" and their flow of brutalities, raging in the field of publishing, fully committed to the total war. Backing up the efforts of a nation at war, they mobilised scientists, writers and historians.