France

Josephine Baker – dancer, spy and freedom fighter 

Born into poverty, Josephine Baker reached heights beyond what could have been possible for an African-American woman between the 20s and 60s. She was a polarising force throughout her life as a performer and activist. Seen as a threat to the United States for speaking out against race discrimination, she was loved in France – […]

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The world was her stage: the extraordinary life and times of Unė Baye

From Hollywood glamour to the Siberian gulag, the life of Lithuanian actor Unė Baye was as dramatic in life as it was on the stage Uršulė Babickaitė-Graičiūnienė was born in the Lithuanian village of Laukminiškiai. She began acting and singing whilst in elementary school. In 1913, she moved to Russia, where she studied music, drama […]

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Elsa Schiaparelli: Declaring Feminine Willpower through Fashion

Elsa Schiaparelli is one of the most renowned personalities in fashion history. Not only because she was one of the most striking designers of 1930s Paris, but also because she was a woman who always fought for her plans to become reality, and for her voice to be heard directly through her stunning and unforgettable […]

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Love across borders: Serbian teachers on the France Riviera

We have recently begun collecting personal stories from people all across Europe relating to migration, following on from our successful Europeana 1914-1918 project. This new, short blog series, Love across borders, is inspired by collections discovered during this project, with stories of romance and love at the time of World War 1. Read on to […]

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many people crowded together on a ship deck

Pictures in Focus: Migrants, then and now

Today, Manuele Buono, of AEDEKA srl in Italy, talks about a photograph taken on board a ship arriving at Ellis Island in the early 20th century. I love this photo. It’s a striking reminder of the fact that once millions of Europeans just like me (yet not only Italians, but also Hungarians, Poles, Germans, Slavs, […]

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César Franck: the “Pater Seraphicus” of modern French music

On this International Migrants’ Day, Sofie Taes, musicologist & co-curator of the Europeana Photography Collection for PHOTOCONSORTIUM/KU Leuven, zooms in on the life and work of a brave Belgian who altered the course of French music history.   In the twilight of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), in which it led significant losses against Germany, France explored […]

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#5WomenArtists: celebrating female artists from across Europe

Ask someone to name five artists and responses are likely to include famous European names such as Picasso, van Gogh, Monet, da Vinci — all male artists. Ask them to name five women artists, and the question poses more of a challenge. Last year, in honour of Women’s History Month, the National Museum of Women […]

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Racing Through France

When Sylvester Howard Roper attached a small steam engine to an cranky iron-frame bicycle near Boston in 1867, one question burned in his mind; How fast will it go? Guillame Perreaux probably asked himself the same thing in Paris that same year, when he also attached a steamer to one of Pierre Michaux’s pedal-velocipedes. However, […]

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