The Little Explorer's Box of Delights
Paradise on Earth, a land of adventure and exploration, a savage and hostile world… Faced with the foreign and unknown, European writers, scholars and artists were very quick to develop a fantasy world imbued with ambivalence, where stereotypes are confronted with the desires for exoticism and adventure and where romanticism mingles with clichés. The exhibition questions the evolution of this perspective, from the travel writings of Cook and Bougainville through to the modern day, exploring youth literature and cultural production aimed at children, including toys, films, universal exhibitions and museums, and cartoons.
It also features Robinson Crusoe and his friend Friday, the Fenouillard Family, who reluctantly set off on a journey to America, Phileas Fogg and Passepartout, and other colonial heroes and adventurers such as Bob Morane, Dady Risquetou and Freddy la Bougeotte, among others, all tales that, despite the nostalgia they might sometimes inspire, are enlightened examples of the extensive paraphernalia of the Western imagery that has guided inquisitive little minds as they explore the world.
(Photo: Salon de lecture Jacques Kerchache, Musée du quai Branly)