Marseille is the gateway to North Africa

17 April, 2021

Poster courtesy of  Mucem .

Poster cour­tesy of Mucem.

“Mar­seilles has always had close ties with the rest of the Mediter­ranean basin, in par­tic­u­lar the north­ern shore of Africa, a priv­i­leged posi­tion that has been wide­ly glo­ri­fied through­out its his­to­ry. This rela­tion­ship took a new turn after the con­quest of Alge­ria, between 1830 and 1870, and the estab­lish­ment of pro­tec­torates in Tunisia and Moroc­co, estab­lished respec­tive­ly in 1881 and 1912. This poster prais­es Mar­seille’s priv­i­leged mar­itime link with North Africa, and the moder­ni­ty of the trans­port, trains and steamships, which linked the Pho­caean city to the Maghreb. Mar­seille became the first French colo­nial port and the first port of depar­ture for colonists and trav­el­ers to North Africa: the poster speaks of 700,000 trav­el­ers to or from the Maghreb each year. In addi­tion to the colo­nial aspect, the tri­umphant eco­nom­ic pow­er of French indus­try and steam trans­port, in the ser­vice of speed and moder­ni­ty, in Europe and North Africa, as shown by the dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tions offered from Mar­seille, is vis­i­ble. More than as a door, it is as a light­house, which both guides and illu­mi­nates with its light, that Lucien Serre sym­bol­izes the city in this poster.” —Mucem