Love in Times of War

Love in Times of War
A Franco-British Correspondence 1944-1946
Tuesday 30 April 2019, 6.30pm
Venue: Institut français du Royaume-Uni, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT
Free but booking essential: 020 7871 3515,
As part of The Borders of Identity cycle of events
Credits: York, 3 oct 1944 – Jacques Leclercq, Henri “Pat” Martin & Francis Usai


Between 1944 and 1946, Francis Usai, a young French airman based near York, wrote to Barbara Rigby, a student, who lived in Liverpool. She recorded their conversations every day in her diary. Ian Reed (museum director), Geneviève Monneris (documentarist) and historians Mona Parra and Claire Gorrara will explore how this love story makes us see the war through the more intimate lens of the romance between two young people, while actors will read from the letters and diaries to make us hear their voices.
Ian and Geneviève’s exhibition "La Photo" in co-operation with Service Historique de la Défense is to be shown in Paris and London.

In cooperation with the Yorkshire Air Museum.
As part of The Borders of Identity cycle of events.

Admission free
Please book in advance here

The panelists Mona Parra, Ian Reed, Geneviève Monneris and Claire Gorrara on the main stage and the two actors Morgane Pisoni and Charles Meunier on the balcony


About the speakers

Ian Reed has been Museum Director of the Allied Air Forces Memorial and Yorkshire Air Museum for 21 years. He has been an Archeologist, Civil Engineer and Politician and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. The Museum site was home to the only two wartime French heavy bomber squadrons.

Geneviève Monneris is co-author, with Barbara Harper-Nelson, of The French Squadrons and its French version, Les Bombardiers Lourds Français de la RAF. Her film De Lourds Souvenirs, made with her son Thomas Lesgoirres, about her father’s aircrew, won Best Documentary at the I.W.M. London Film Festival 2012.

Mona Parra is a historian based in Grenoble. A member of ILCEA4 (Institut des langues et cultures d’Europe, Amérique, Afrique, Asie et Australie), her research focuses on British, German and French intelligence during the Second World War.

Claire Gorrara is Professor of French Studies at Cardiff University. She has worked extensively on the autobiographies, prose fiction and memoirs of French women writers during the Second World War and the role of popular culture in transmitting war stories, and is currently working on two projects: photography and the Liberation of Europe 1944-1945 and representations of war in francophone comics and graphic novels.


You can now listen to this special evening thanks to Culturethèque.
Love in Times of War podcast.


Published on 12/06/2019

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