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Circuits of VisibilityGender and Transnational Media Cultures$
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Radha S. Hegde

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814737309

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814737309.001.0001

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“Recycling” Heroines in France

“Recycling” Heroines in France

Coutured Identities and Invisible Transitions

(p.124) 7 “Recycling” Heroines in France
Circuits of Visibility

Julie Thomas

NYU Press

This chapter examines the media space of the Petit Palais museum in Paris and its remaking of immigrant women as producers and consumers of commodified nationalism. For the exhibition of Petit Palais entitled “L'Etoffe des heroines,” thirteen women who are members of various disenfranchised and marginal publics from diasporic communities dealing with issues of immigration were trained in couture practice and encouraged to design and customize garments by recycling and using old secondhand clothing donated by the charitable association Emmaus. Like the garments that they produce, these women are portrayed in the mediascape of the museum as sewing for themselves the “right stuff” of accomplished French heroines from the raw material of their old identities. The national, global, and transnational museum audience is thus led to the conclusion that the proof of the marginalized women's ability to recycle culture in the production of appropriately coutured identities now entitles them to become full consumers of the stuff of culture.

Keywords:   Petit Palais, immigrant women, commodified nationalism, marginalized women, recycled culture, coutured identities

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