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Sixty-eight Tunisian civilians were killed in a raid on the village of Sakiet Sidi Yousef in 1958. The attack was part of French repressions in neighbouring Algeria, and provoked condemnation around the world. Shocked by the event, de Francia dedicated this epic canvas to the innocent victims. Rather than attempting an accurate record, he used fragmented imagery and harsh colour contrasts to convey the destruction. Like André Fougeron at the same moment in France, de Francia used his art as a means of protest.

August 2004