January 9, 2016

2200 GERMANY (Bremen) - Lunchtime rest in the shipyards (1962)

This postcard was issued probably in 2009 by the French Network No pasaran, and  is a (bad) reproduction of a photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), a French photographer considered the master of  candid photography. He spent more than three decades on assignment for Life and other journals, traveling and documenting some of the great upheavals of the 20th century: the Spanish Civil War, the liberation of Paris in 1944, the 1968 student rebellion in Paris, the fall of the Kuomintang to the communists, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the Berlin Wall, and the deserts of Egypt.

Along the way he paused to document portraits of Camus, Picasso, Colette, Matisse, Pound and Giacometti. But many of his most renowned photographs are of seemingly unimportant moments of ordinary daily life. He helped develop street photography, and approvingly cited a notion of the inevitability of a decisive moment, a term adopted as the title for his first major book. Cartier-Bresson received an extraordinary number of prizes, awards and honorary doctorates. He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks short of his 96th birthday.

Regarding the No Pasaran network, which issued this postcard, behold how it presents itself: "The No Pasaran network was born from the antifascist radical movement. Its area of action has been widened by its analysis of the growth of the Far Right, of xenophobia, of the ideologies of security and authoritary and by its experience in the antifascist fight. The No Pasaran network is against any kind of domination : capitalism, racism, patriarchy, alienation, social apartheid, repression and so on... [...] Even if we act here and now with radical ways and contribute towards the elaboration of areas of counter plans, it is also in a revolutionary perspective."

"¡No pasarán!" (They shall not pass) is a slogan used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy. It was most famously used during the  Battle of Verdun in the WWI by French General Robert Nivelle. It was also used during the Spanish Civil War, this time at the Siege of Madrid by Dolores Ibárruri Gómez, a member of the Communist Party of Spain, in her famous "No Pasarán" speech on 18 July 1936. In the 1980s, the phrase "¡No pasarán!" was a theme in the civil wars in Central America, particularly in Nicaragua.

About the stamps

The first stamp  was issued on March 18,1996, to mark the Stamp Day, and depicts The Sower Woman 1903.

The second stamp is part of the series Liberté de Gandon d'après Delacroix, about which I wrote here..

The last stamp is part of the series Famous Personalities, designed by Marie-Noëlle Goffin, and issued on October 23, 1982:
• Louis Pergaud 1882-1915 (1.60 + 0.40 FRF)
• Guillaume Postel 1510-1581 (1.40 + 0.30 FRF)
• Henri Mondor 1885-1962 (1.40 + 0.30 FRF)
• André Chantemesse 1851-1919 (1.60 + 0.30 FRF) - It's on the postcard 2200
• Robert Debré 1882-1978 (1.60 + 0.40 FRF)
• Gustave Eiffel 1832-1923 (1.80 + 0.40 FRF)

Henri Cartier-Bresson - Wikipedia
Henri Cartier-Bresson - Magnum Photos
No Pasaran - Official website
They shall not pass - Wikipedia

Sender: Jean-Yves Gerlat
Sent from Meylan (Rhône-Alpes / France), on 10.08.2015
Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson / 1962

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