The history of the French colonial empire is ambivalent. A sensitive subject for some, it is loaded with adventures and imaginary tales for others. The successive conquests of the First Empire, which runs from the Americas to Senegal and India, and then of the Second Empire, which stretches from Africa to Southeast Asia, have enabled many destinies to be achieved. We imagine these men in the early hours of discovering the world, leaving a country, a family for a future beyond the seas. An unknown universe full of promise opened up to them. Then came a period of installation and construction. Each location developed an architectural style specific to the geographical location, sometimes merging with the local style to give birth to a new architectural language. It was thus the opportunity to experiment with the latest styles in vogue and new techniques for the home. Climatic constraints and the use of local materials stimulated the minds of architects and engineers who, far from the metropolis, had more freedom. If this political and social order of the world came to an end, there remains a visible imprint of these exchanges and of this French presence beyond its borders. From Casablanca to Pondicherry, via Saint-Louis du Senegal, Shanghai, Algiers or Port-au-Prince, these remains are both modest and large. Some buildings and buildings have survived the years and still tell their stories. Living a second wind after independence, they have rarely remained uninhabited. But due to lack of maintenance, many disappear under the onslaught of time or of man. I wanted to fix them on my negatives so that the stories they contain continue to live on. I produced this series and oriented my travels according to the documentary research carried out upstream in Paris. I then produced these photographs using exclusively a 4x5" large format camera and color films.