Global Reminder

May 21, 2021  •  6 Comments

French West AfricaFrench West AfricaBodie State Park, California
French West Africa
Bodie State Park, California

A dusty reminder of the 19th and 20th century colonial land grabs of the African continent sits on the floor of an abandoned building in California's Bodie State Park.The large green swath covering much of West Africa is labeled French West Africa:

federation of eight French colonial territories in AfricaMauritaniaSenegalFrench Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Ivory CoastUpper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. The federation existed from 1895 until 1958. Its capital was Saint-Louis, Senegal until 1902, and then Dakar until the federation's collapse in 1960.   - Wikipedia entry

1960 is not ancient history, for many reading this it was our childhood. 


Comments

Earl(non-registered)
Sadly it seems no nation is free from dark and bloody periods in its history, and not that it's limited to history. An impactful image!
Markus(non-registered)
... and still many of the French citizens still try to ignore how homemade their problems with domestic terrorism are. It has a long and bloody trail, never reconciled, but still below the radar of the majority. It is not unsimilar here in Germany, where we had our smaller and shorter share of cruelties committed in Africa
Todd Henson(non-registered)
Another interesting find I might have overlooked. And an interesting bit of history associated with it. This brought to mind a similar small metal globe I've had most of my life, given to me maybe by a grandparent long ago. Turns out it also labels that swath of land French West Africa. I couldn't find a manufacture date on it, but was fascinated it does say "Made in U.S.A."
Monte Stevens(non-registered)
I always seem to learn something with your blog. And, I just love this image!
JWSmith Photography
If you want to read a depressing history of the time and place try “King Leopold’s Ghost” by Adam Hochschild. It covers the Belgium occupation of central Africa (The Belgian Congo) and the abuses that ensued.
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