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Europe on the Brink: Albert Kahn's Archive of the Planet

Poverty, emigration, declining birth rates, and ethnic divisions weakened many European countries as the 20th century began. From France to the Balkans, leaders prescribed nationalism and military buildup as the only solutions. This program studies the continent’s march to war as depicted in the photographic record commissioned by French banker Albert Kahn. Early color images and film footage explore a range of themes—including contrasts between urbanization and rural life in France, Germany, and Scandinavia; the decline of the Ottoman Empire and its impact in Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, and Macedonia; and the grittiness of everyday life in Europe. Kahn’s pacifism is also a topic. A BBC/Musée Albert-Kahn (Département des Hauts-de-Seine—France) Coproduction. A part of the series The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn. (51 minutes)

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Albert Kahn's Photographic Project
Albert Kahn's Archive of the Planet shows contented people in Europe and farther east prior to WWI. The world he captured on film and in color photographs no longer exists.