chapter  9
18 Pages

(Re)mapping Black Paris

African space in the imperial centre
ByMadhu Krishnan

Early in the pages of Nationalists and Nomads: Essays on Francophone African Literature and Culture, Christopher Miller makes the assertion that "France, through a strange twist of fate, an appendage of Africa" as much as Africa, through colonialism, was once an appendage of France. To understand the basis on which Miller makes his claims, it is important to recall the particular – and particularly spatial – dynamics which defined the project of Greater France, as the French empire styled itself in the inter- and post-war eras. The vision of a transnational France with global reach and influence inherent in the concept of Greater France was solidified following the Second World War and the inauguration of the Union française. In the inter- and post-war eras, Paris served as a key site for the transnational exchanges which would become so instrumental to fighting the domination of empire.