The national movement illustrated

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Since the end of the 19th century, Tunisia was drawn under the French protectorate a masked occupation that led the country under the foreign dictatorship, the resistance of the tribes and local population haven't stopped since especially in the country side never less in the cities, the national movement have been the guiding to the independence (1965) thanks to decades of struggle with the the French authorities for decades.

The armed resistance was rarely taken in pictures, few portraits of jailed or wanted rebels were kept in the archives, people hiding in top of the mountains and in the bushes keeping eyes open even in sleep were less concerned about archiving their activity through writings or photos than having munitions, food and some intelligence to avoid or attack the enemy platoons nor did the media (a couple of national newspapers) who were over controlled by the French local government, and the French press was spreading other propaganda.

The national movement led by Farhat Hachad, Abdel Azia thaalbi, taher ben Youssef and Bourguiba was a gathering of smart thinkers who thought differently from the rebels, they chosen to peacefully to negotiate with the French occupier small peaces of freedom than the complete independence, the National party have used the most sophisticated tools in time to show their attention: meeting, strikes, newspapers, ... without ignoring to take all that in shots thus their actions were shoes around in the local media and the Arab national press.

Bourguiba was on the heart of all that fighting for the independence: local meeting in the party and many visits to Egypt and USA or even as detainee in Isle of Groix was all graved into memorable and precious photos.

Bourguiba knew always how to interact with the camera as his only way of visible communication for the farther people at the time, the national TV started in 1966, the newspapers and the radio were the major mass media. The photos -even in the most worst times- showed a wise smiling leader with enlighten mind and a brighter future.

As part of his show, he was an element man but he also showed him self wearing labor clothes, working as a farmer and taking pictures with political mates and ordinary people, in one word he knew the real value of photography as much as a political speech as a matter for leadership.

Photography has been a main too on the most big struggles for freedom all over the world as much for Tunisia as for Algeria or India, it didn't just store all those events into memory, it did change history, believes and led whole countries to change.

You can find a valuable collection of Bouguiba's photo in a dedicated site, and other photos of the national party under the French protector in the independence site establish in the 50th independence celebration.

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