From its first reign over the Americas through India to its second milestone in Africa down to Southeast Asian countries, the French empire’s prestige has definitely sprinkled its influence around the globe. Yet, despite this fact, it’s history is seldom showcased and heralded.
As a way of bringing back the architectural glory of the French colonization era, French photographer Thomas Jorion traced the empire’s footsteps and captured the buildings that still hold its influence.
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The photos show old, dilapidated structures that range from retail establishments down to run-down hotels that still boast the ambivalent French architecture in faded royal colors and splintered columns. Jorion’s images, all shot on 4×5 color film plates, document the undeniable impact of the French empire’s fast-evolving, adaptive architecture during its time, and how its fall left the buildings unattended and forgotten.
Jorion successfully captures the eerie charm of the old world in this photo series called “Traces of Empire” and further explains that he “wanted to fix them on my negatives so that the stories they contain continue to live.”