Sennep
: vichy through the medium of political cartoons

  • Christopher O'Neill

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Abstract

Following the fall of France in June 1940 and the creation of the Vichy regime, the government began to install its own order. One of the key underpinnings of this new regime was the control of information, which occurred primarily through the written press. Despite this strict control, Delporte (1993) argues that there is one cartoonist under Vichy, Sennep in Candide, who produces weekly cartoons which criticise the ideology of the Vichy regime and Vichy society. However, it is not clear how this criticism manifests and how it develops over the period of the Occupation.This thesis sets out to analyse the cartoons produced by Sennep in Candide between 1940 and 1944 in order to answer this question. Before this, the thesis develops a semiotic methodology to examine the cartoons produced by the artist before the war to build up a lexicon of graphic techniques and visual codes. The thesis identifies the principal themes in Sennep’s cartoons diachronically and traces the development of the key themes including the Third Republic, parliamentarianism and rationing. Whilst some criticism of the Vichy regime and the Occupier was discovered in the cartoons produced by the artist, the thesis did not identify the level of criticism suggested by Delporte. Rather, this thesis suggests that the artist’s recontextualisation of his work after the Liberation contributed to this image of criticism and dissent.
Date of Award26 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJames Shields (Supervisor) & Brian Sudlow (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • vichy
  • political cartooning
  • semiotics
  • collaboration
  • dissent

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