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Elli Lemonidou
University of Patras

Transformations of the cultural and urban landscape
in Paris during the Great War

Although Paris was left out of the main fronts of the battles of World War I, it was affected, however, to a great extent and in many ways, by events and developments in both the battlefields and the home front during the 1914-1918 period.
This effect had two main aspects.
The first one has a certain military dimension, as, despite the distance from the manslaughter of the Western Front, the city became a target of repeated air raids, a factor which affected significantly the psychology of citizens and the organization of city life.
The second aspect covers the influence of war in the life of the city, including the turnovers, the confirmations and the differentiations encountered on a broad cultural level.
The rich and multidimensional pre-war identity of Paris, the crucial role of the French capital for the movements of domestic and allied troops, the function of the city as a point of concentration for soldiers on a leave from the front, have all jointly affected in multiple ways the everyday life and routine of the city.
Through the change of use or the new levels of importance of certain sites, through the new forms of economic organization, through the remodeling of leisure and entertainment (in terms of both content and recipients), the Parisian society experienced in a decisive way the direct effects or the distant echoes of the war.
In that setting, conservatism or nation-centred phenomena coexisted with innovation, avant-garde initiatives and cosmopolitan spirit.

© EPLO 2017