Transnational cultural propaganda: French cultural policies in Britain during the Second World War

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article argues that although London became the capital city of the main external Resistance movement Free France during the Second World War, the latter struggled to establish its cultural agenda in Britain, owing, on the one hand, to the British Council’s control over French cultural policies and, on the other hand, to the activities of anti-Gaullist resistant fighters based in London who ascribed different purposes to French arts. While the British Council and a few French individuals worked towards prolonging French cultural policies that had been in place since the interwar period, thus favouring intellectual independence over cultural propaganda, Free France sought to use culture as a tool to assert its legitimacy as a political movement. The transnational framework of this article highlights the diversity of resistance practices and suggests that war disrupted rather than strengthened national boundaries.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-69
Number of pages21
JournalFrench Politics, Culture & Society
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019