Monday, August 15, 2005

Old Postcards

These are a bunch of postcards that I shot in a tourist shop. They show old ads that, I am sure, will look familiar to my French visitors - especially the ones up top promoting Banania, a chocolate drink for breakfast. Although I was very young, I do remember this ad campaign "starring" an African - or more precisely what French people thought an African would look like at that time (part of Africa was still a French colony when they first released it).
I realized only recently how prejudiced this advertising campaign was and it stroke me again when I saw these post cards.


  1. The really funny thing is how they keep selling all the postcards and posters and things with old logos like this. They're still very popular.

  2. Nostalgia is big business, Michele. Here in the States, pictures of Robert Doisneau, for instance, are very popular.

    I remember the Banania guy very well indeed! They used to have these ads in the tunnels in the subway (I don't mean at the actual station, but "between" the stations, in the tunnel itself). For all I know, some of these old ads might still be there...

  3. Salut Eric!
    Inspired by your beautiful pictures and great blog, I have started a photolog of some of the pictures I have of Sydney and other parts of Australia. It'll probably not be a daily affair, like yours, since I have yet to buy my own digital camera! But I've been borrowing cameras from friends, so I have a small collection of photos that I can post! Viens y jeter un coup d'oeil si tu as le temps!


  4. I did buy, two years ago, a Delespaul-Havez chocolate ad on a plaque, sold in souvenir shops in Paris, and it is on my kitchen wall. I bought that one for two reasons:
    1. The Delespaul-Havez factory was about a mile from where I lived as a child and teen (caram'bars were one of my favorite candy bars when I was a kid, and I am not that much of a sweet tooth...)
    2. As a child, at school, for a while I had a blotter (remember learning how to write with a pen with a nib you had to dip in ink?!!?) with that same design on it.

    Yes, the Banania guy is typical of the representation of Africans at the time, and his image is now more popular than ever.

  5. As a child, at school, for a while I had a blotter (remember learning how to write with a pen with a nib you had to dip in ink?!!?) ...

    Oh, yes, I remember. I could be wrong but I think they discontinued that practice around the late 60's, early 70's?

  6. banania and anything like that really bugs me! particularly traumatizing to me are the depictions of africans with bones in their noses. it's weird because i just took a picture of one of those banania ads just a few days ago, but it was a serving tray.