The French Australian Review – No 74 Australian Winter 2023

ISSN 2981-894X (Online), ISSN 2203-5362 (Print)

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ERIC BERTI, The Vagaries of French-Australian Relations Seen Through French Eyes

Eric Berti was Consul-General of France in Sydney from 2012–2015. His opinion piece is in response to that of Ivan Barko in Issue 73, where Barko wrote of the ‘love-hate’ relationship between France and Australia. Berti responds that, while he does not see a ‘love-hate’ relationship, French-Australian relations have always been complex, with both historical and sociological roots. He refers, as did Barko, to the English prism through which Australia has historically viewed France, and to the colonial factor and how this has coloured perceptions. Cultural perceptions and French presence in the Pacific are part of the story as are the connections forged by young French working visa visitors and the long-standing French interest in Australia’s Indigenous people.

Keywords: AUKUS, Anzacs, World War I, Indo-Pacific strategy, New Caledonia.



PAUL KIEM, The Huybers and Loureiro Families
This article freely available for one month up to end Sep 2023

This article is the first part of a two-part article. Part 2 will be published in No. 75. Scholars have recently highlighted the significance of France’s influence on Australia’s culture and society, especially in the decades around Federation. Out of all proportion to the relatively small number of French migrants who came to Australia, this French influence manifested itself in complex and subtle ways. One aspect of the complexity was that the French influence informed a broader cosmopolitanism which stood out from the dominant British-Australian culture of the early twentieth century. In these two papers, members of two families, the Huybers and the Loureiros, are used as a case study to explore how this French influence could be expressed in diverse ways. Aspects of the richly varied lives of the selected individuals are inherently interesting and often help to illustrate larger themes in Australian social history.

Keywords:  Marie Thérèse Loureiro, Artur Loureiro, Vasco Loureiro, Jessie ‘Tasma’ Couvreur, Barack.

ELIZABETH RECHNIEWSKI, Civilising the Pacific in Louise Michel’s ‘Kanak Play’

Among the more than 4000 communards deported to New Caledonia in the 1870s were many who had professional, literary and publishing experience. Despite the harshness of the conditions of detention, that varied according to the punishment imposed: déportation simple, dans une enceinte fortifiée etc, many contrived to exercise their talents in this unlikely setting and many more discovered an aptitude for cultural pursuits, transforming the life of the colony. Amongst the most challenging, perhaps, of their cultural endeavours—because of the considerable material that had to be sourced—was the performance of plays in ‘bush’ theatres and in Noumea itself. This paper briefly explores the role the deportees played in setting up theatres in Noumea and outside, and then examines a previously unpublished play by Louise Michel, set in New Caledonia and probably written while she was imprisoned there: Civilisation [Scènes de la vie des primitifs au vingtième siècle]. It presents the themes of the play as a commentary on the multi-faceted forms of exploitation that Michel witnessed or presciently recognised to be developing across the region in the context of British/Australian and French colonisation.

Keywords: Louise Michel, theatre on New Caledonia, Communard deportees, European civilisation, Kanaks.



BARBARA GLOWCZEWSKI, From Academic Heritage to Aboriginal Priorities: Anthropological Responsibilities

A first version of this paper was presented at the International symposium, ‘Australian Aboriginal Anthropology Today: Critical perspectives from Europe’, held at the Musée du Quai Branly, in January 2013. The paper documents the thirty plus years of anthropological research undertaken by Barbara Glowczewski primarily with the Warlpiri people in Central Australia since the 1970s. She goes on to describe her subsequent work to set up a multimedia project to return control of the research material to the Indigenous people as one example of anthropological responsibility derived from Indigenous priorities. Drawing on the theoretical work of Deleuze and Guattari, she advocates ‘dissensus’ in order to step away from sterile oppositions between assimilation versus exclusion and universal versus relative.

Keywords: Warlpiri, Guattari, Dreaming stories Mabo Native Title Act, Lex Wotton, Palm Island.

DEIRDRE GILFEDDER, Australian Studies in France: A Recent Survey

This article documents the evolution of Australian studies in France since 2015, when Marilyne Brun presented an overview of the state of Australian studies in France at that time. The article starts with a very useful analysis of the difference between the Australian and French university systems. Within this context, the author points out the diverse fields in which Australian studies can be approached in France—from literature and civilisation studies within English departments, with their interest in post-colonial studies, immigration studies, to political science, history and anthropology. The article identifies a number of scholars in France working across these different fields and interested in aspects of Australian studies and highights some recent publications and events.

Keywords:  Société d’études postcoloniales, études anglosaxonnes cf études Anglophones, Glyn Davis, history of French universities and Grandes Écoles, Commonwealth studies, Laboratoire d’Études et de Recherche sur le Monde Anglophone (LERMA).

ELAINE LEWIS & MIREILLE VIGNOL, French-Australian Encounters Number 9: An Interview with Mireille Vignol: French-Australian Translator, Ex-broadcaster and Sometime Organiser of Cultural Events

In conversation, Mireille Vignol describes her experiences living in Australia for eighteen years, working as a journalist with the ABC. Since her return to France in 2002, she has translated over 60 works by Australian, Oceanian, North American, South African and English authors.

Keywords: ABC Radio Australia, French-speaking Pacific nations and territories, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Ruby Moonlight, translation slams.

THE EDITORS, Vale Jacques Henri Pollet de Saint-Ferjeux

Obituary of Jacques Henri Pollet de Saint-Ferjeux, a member of ISFAR and of the ISFAR Committee for many years. He died February 2023. The obituary records his wide interests and involvements and long-standing commitment to ISFAR.



Florence Boulard James, Book Review: Geraldine Le Roux, L’Art des Ghostnets : Approche anthropologique et esthétique des filets-fantômes.

Richly illustrated, this book provides an anthropological study of ghost-nets art.

Keywords: Indigenous art, environmental waste objects, ghost nets.

Elizabeth Rechniewski, Book Review: Jerry Delathière, Shuga: The Sugar Way.

A first novel set in the 1870s, it focuses on the fate of two men of widely varied backgrounds and life experiences: a man kidnapped from the island of Maré (Loyalty Islands) and transported to Queensland to work on the sugar plantations, and a Communard, who sought his fortune in Australia.

Keywords: ‘blackbirding’, communard, island of Maré.

Wilfred Prest, Book Review: Don Longo, A Historian Against the Current: The Life and Work of Austin Gough.

A biography of Austin Gough, Professor of Modern History at the University of Adelaide, who was fascinated by Zola’s depiction of life in nineteenth century. Gough studied History at the University of Melbourne under Max Crawford, before doing his doctorate at Oxford. He was an inspired, although increasingly frustrated teacher, as head of the History Department at the University of Adelaide. Following his retirement, he resumed his earlier career as a journalist, as an acerbic critic of ‘leftist causes’.

Keywords: The University of Adelaide, The University of Melbourne, Hugh Stretton, Max Crawford, journalism.

Jane Gilmour, Book Note, Robert Wallace, Paint Out, Robert Wallace, Finger Play, Hilary Roots, One Rose in Bali.

The first two books are published in the Sydney-Paris Link series of Tom Thompson’s ETT Imprint, Robert Wallace is a pseudonym of the artist Robin Wallace-Crabbe. They are reprints, first published by Gollancz, and are part of the Essington Holt series, set in Paris and the Côte d’Azur. The third book is set on Bali and the Isle of Pines (New Caledonia).

Keywords: Essington Holt, art forgery, Côte d’Azur, Bali, Isle of Pines, travel memoir.

ELAINE LEWIS, Bibliographical notes

Recent publications of: Australian books translated into French; books with French content by Australian authors; books relating to Australia by French authors; and translations from French to English by Australian authors.