Friday in Paris

By Katie Werth

IMG_0794Friday in Paris [May 29] was an incredibly fun day! We met one of Mme Langston’s friends, Drew Flanagan. He gave us a very interesting lecture on colonial expositions in Paris, which occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He took us to the Bois de Vincennes where some of these events happened and explained the process, which consisted of taking people from colonized areas, making an exhibit that looked like their “natural habitat,” and then putting them on display so visitors to the exposition could see how the people of those regions lived. We went to the Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration, a museum located near the park that gives you a good idea of the kinds of people who immigrated to France. They had a really cool fashion display that showed couture fashion and its changes through the past century. After the museum we went to an area in the park where there was a lake. We were attacked by geese, or at least I was. After one came and stole my bread off of my leg, Drew grabbed someone’s backpack IMG_0801and heroically scared away the geese by swinging it at them. It was quite comedic. After lunch we went on a long walk through the Bois de Vincennes to get to the Jardin d’agronomie tropicale, which was designed for the 1907 Colonial Exposition. It was very cool to see the old structures and to think about how they were used. Drew explained how the people who were on display there would be dressed in very stereotypical clothing and then would perform an act such as basket weaving. It was a tiring day from the long walking and the heat, but it was also an amazing time.