The Missiri of Fréjus as Healing Memorial: Mosque Metaphors and the French Colonial Army (1928–64)
Type
journal article
Year
2012
The Missiri, or Mosque, of Fréjus was constructed c.1928–30 for the Senegalese riflemen (tirailleurs sénégalais) of the French colonial troops based in the military camps of southern France. Although its appearance seemingly links it with sub-Saharan Islamic architecture, its purpose and uses remained secular. Officials at the camps hoped that the building would induce health and community spirit, while providing a memorial space for deceased soldiers. Through an analysis of the building's shape, function and surviving military documents, this study demonstrates that the Missiri is the material outcome of new ventures in French colonial humanism, ostensible religious tolerance, and the belief that moral rectitude can be expressed through architecture. Moreover, this mosque-like building represents a clear example of a structural form (the mosque) divorced from a particular function (Islamic ritual) and concerned instead with providing a site to commemorate the Senegalese riflemen's contributions to Greater France.
Citation
Gruber, Christiane. "The Missiri of Fréjus as Healing Memorial: Mosque Metaphors and the French Colonial Army (1928–64)." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 1, Number 1, edited by Mohammad Gharipour, pp. 25-60. Bristol: Intellect, 2012.
Authorities
Collections
Copyright
Intellect
Country
France
Language
English
Building Usages
mosque
religious
Keywords
colonial architecture