ISSN : 2266-6060

Summertime blues

Paris, june 2011.

As Scriptopolis goes on vacation, let’s look at some prototype objects of summer: bathing suits, straw hats or, in this picture, umbrellas. Even when produced by prestigious brands, they are rarely provided with inscriptions unless when used as advertising media, such as hundreds of thousands of trinkets polluting the roads of the Tour de France. However, summer torpor and its associated political vacuum has led to recent initiatives such as the UMP caravan with thongs famously marking sandy beaches. These are seasonal items, so their uses and their messages are destined to disappear when we come back to normal social times.
Yet this umbrella is here, in Paris, in June 2011: Omar Bongo, paragon of Françafrique, eulogist of « peace »and « democracy », is long dead, so the political writing is now meaningless except for a collector or an historian. What paths has it followed? In whose hands did it go? Who paid for its production? We don’t care anymore about its genesis, it is available to whoever wants protection from the sun. Sometimes, for lack of readers, it is not writings that remain, but objects.