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35 - Luttes sociales

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Laurent Bihl

Working class demonstrations in pictures. The influence of caricature on protest imagery in la Belle Époque (1887-1914)

Le Temps des médias n° 35, Automne 2020, p. 12-36.

DrapeauFrancais

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At the opposite of their obvious ironical and degrading, in their own way satirical pictures have contributed to carve out a visual memory of working-class processions. Among others, Steinlen’s creations have now become familiar and Delannoy is quite reknown for the newspaper L’Assiette au beurre. In the 1880’s context, one form of representation is getting replaced by another: Delacroix’s inspired Marianne is more and more neglecting barricades and definitely slips away from processions, no longer led by “the People” (mostly Parisian) but now conducted by a socioprofessional category identified as such, the working class. This iconographic switch directly succeeds to the 1890-1910’s great strikes with which it shares some legacy. However, with this type of representations coexists an hostile imagery depicting demonstrations solely as collective mess and savagery.

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