The Paris International Colonial Exposition, held in parc de Vincennes between May and October 1931, has been considered the maximum celebration of French colonial thinking. The visitors had the possibility to admire and walk through different stands reproducing monuments and key areas of French colonies and of the territories colonized by other foreign states. The advertising slogan of the Exposition was "le tour du monde en un jour" ("the world tour in one day") and, according to the organizers, the event would have increased the interest of the French citizens to the Plus grande France. The first part of the essay describes the context and the process of organization of the Exposition, and it analyzes its main features. The essay then focuses on a particular aspect of the event, i.e. the duality between the educational aim and the desire to amaze. By analyzing some of the key-monuments, the essay tries to show how the organizers wanted French citizens to increase their knowledge of the Empire, while trying to catch their attention and make this experience memorable.
Keywords: Esposizione Coloniale Internazionale, Impero coloniale francese Idea coloniale, Parigi
Anna Lisa Pinchetti, The French colonial idea at the Exposition Coloniale Internationale of Paris, 1931. Parole chiave: International Colonial Exposition, French colonial empire, Colonial idea, Paris in "STORIA URBANA " 143/2014, pp. 13-42, DOI:10.3280/SU2014-143002