History, Memory and Trauma in Photography of the Tondues: Visuality of the Vichy past Through the Silent Image of Women

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Journal Article
Gender and History, 2005, 17 (3), pp. 657 - 681
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In numerous surveys of modern European history one can find examples of iconic visual representations of the `tondues: French women targeted as collaborators and whose heads were shaven in rituals of public disgrace during and after the defeat of German forces at the end of World War II.1 As images of humiliation, popular retribution, implicitly sexualised but muted corporeal violence, the tondue photos are striking, arresting and confounding to scholars and non-academic viewers alike. Frequently in these images the shaven-headed women appear to stare blankly, faces silent with shock or with sadness or with a refusal to perform the shame the crowd demands. But while thousands of such photographs exist in archives, only a small number are repeatedly disseminated to a broad academic and general public, predominantly through their reproduction in modern Europe survey books, popular historiography of the French Occupation and Liberation, in historical expose´s in French news magazines and textbooks, and in recent academic critiques of the politics of retribution in post-war Europe
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