Interior Service Only (À utiliser seulement dans le service intérieur: France, Algérie et Tunisie)

by Sophie Kovel, Barnard College

Originally published in the 2017 edition.

found postcards.

Versailles, Le Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon

Versailles, La Galerie des Glaces

Versailles (Apollo’s Bath and the Gallery of Mirrors) epitomizes a French nationalism that is steeped in colonial enterprise. “Interior Service Only” derives its name from “À utiliser seulement dans le service intérieur,” which translates to “Use for internal service only.” These postcards (read: artifacts) are only to be circulated within France, Algeria, and Tunisia, positing an enduring conception of Algeria and Tunisia as “interior” to France, a result of a French colonial empire and its postcolonial present.

The Journal of Art Criticism
Founded at Barnard College in New York