Browse by Tags: colonialism

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Number of items: 7.

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Centenary of the French presence in Algeria 1930

The centenary of the French presence in Algeria 1930 was commemorated in France through a variety of events and the production of posters glorifying France civilising mission in Algeria, notably the modernisation of the agricultural sector. On the other hand, the French Communist Party (PCF) and its affiliated union (CGTU) following the III International’ s anti-colonialism, insisted on colonial and capitalist exploitation of Algeria. The two posters included here allow to visualise such contrasting arguments

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Tirailleurs Sénégalais and the First Word War: memory and commemoration

This resource includes a reproduction of a 1923 monument commemmorating the Tirailleurs Sénégalais who fought for France during the First World War. The original of this monument was erected in Reims and destroyed by the Germans in 1940. An exact copy used to be displayed in Bamako (Mali) but is not currently on public display. This small-scale reproduction may be viewed at the Musée des Forces Armées in Dakar (Senegal) This resource also includes the reproduction of a certificate awarded to a Tirailleurs Sénégalais batallion, in recognition of its bravery in battle during the First World War. The website: www.tirailleursenegalais.com, is very interesting in the way that it rehabilitates the tirailleurs into a national narrative ('batisseurs du monde libre') but of course completely glosses over the fact that many tirailleurs also fought for France in its two wars of decolonisation in Indochina and Algeria.

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Remembering the Colonial Past in France and Africa

Once France’s sub-Saharan African colonies became independent in 1960, African troops who had served France loyally both in the world wars and in its wars of decolonization did not fit easily into the official, nationalist narrative of postcolonial African leaders of an African nation united in the struggle against French colonialism. As a result their role and experiences were largely ‘forgotten’ for some forty years after independence. A powerful symbol of this official forgetting is that, as recently as 1999, in France’s oldest African colony Senegal, a French colonial monument originally cast in 1923 to commemorate the role played by African soldiers fighting for France in World War I, was removed to a small cemetery on the outskirts of Dakar because its presence in the centre of the city was considered too redolent of the country’s colonial past. Yet five years later the monument made a great comeback to the city centre after the announcement by the President Wade, in the presence of a plethora of African heads of state of former French colonies, of the creation of a national day to commemorate the tirailleurs. At the same time he also announced that the Senegalese government would henceforth pay an allowance to all Senegalese war veterans still alive on 2 March 2000, in addition to the increase in African war veterans’ pensions recently announced by France. Following this the monument was restored to the centre of the city to become the focal point of a vast commemoration project in which the Place de la Gare was renamed the Place du Tirailleur and designated as a memorial to African soldiers who perished in both world wars.

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4 Files

Of guns, glory hunters and good intentions. How does France do everything it does in Africa and get away with it?

In this inaugural lecture, Professor Tony Chafer charts the evolution of French interest in, and relations with, Africa from the 19th century to today. The text, the video of the lecture and the corresponding PowerPoint presentation are included here with a separate bibliography.

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Maqam el-chahid (Algiers), War memorial

Dominating the Algiers skyline is Maqam el-chahid (monument to the martyr), inaugurated in 1982 (under Chadli Bendjedid's presidency) to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of independence. Three enormous palmettes stretch 97 metres high, at the foot of each, three statutes are said to symbolise the three pillars of the proclaimed revolution, cultural, industrial and agrarian - although they are all armed men.

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To be a moudjahida in independent Algeria

In her thesis‘To be a moudjahida in independent Algeria: itineraries and memories of women veterans of the Algerian War of Independence’ (University of London, 2008 under the supervision of Professor Julian Jackson), Natalya Vince provides a new examination of the diverse experiences of Algerian women during the War of Independence. It is the first study to analyse female veterans’ itineraries in the post-war period, investigating their status in contemporary Algerian society and their place in collective memories at national, local and familial levels. As such, it provides counterbalance to the popular and scholarly consensus that after the war women, willingly or not ‘went back into the kitchen’. The research incorporates extensive oral interviews with 30 female veterans, unexploited primary documents from Algerian, French and British archives and a survey of 95 students at a teacher training college in Algiers on their attitudes towards the war, veterans, the teaching of history and the transmission of memory. Using oral history challenges the monolithic, top-down treatment that has dominated historiography of the Algerian War, highlighting the importance of gender, socio-economic circumstances and locality in determining wartime and post-war experiences. The case study at the teacher training college in particular highlighted continuing shifts in interpretations of the war. Many students of this generation, born at the same time as the upsurge of Islamism in Algeria, framed the War of Independence as a holy war, employing a religiously-impregnated language which is not that of their elders. Here is an extract from an interview with an FLN nurse, carried out by Natalya Vince in Algiers in December 2005.

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Representations of Childhood and Violence in Recent Films depicting the Algerian War: using cinema to locate conflicting memories.

Dr Joseph McGonagle, Lecturer in Cultural Studies in the French Speaking World, University of Manchester answers questions on key themes in filmic representations of Franco-Algerian relations, the advantages and pitfalls of using film to help students understand historical and contemporary Franco-Algerian relations(interview carried out by Natalya Vince, March 2009). The 12 minute interview took place just after the one-day conference on 'France, North Africa and the Middle East Interdisciplinary and Multimedia Perspectives', held at the University of Portsmouth on 18 March 2009. 1. What are some of the key themes in films that represent Franco-Algerian relations? 2. What are some of the advantages and some of the pitfalls of using films as a tool to help students to understand contemporaries or Franco-Algerian relations? 3. Do you think students are able to place their understanding of films in context of the real world? Do you think there’s a danger of over –interpretation? 4. Which 3 films would you choose which are most useful for students to study?

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This list was generated on Fri Jan 27 04:27:28 2017 GMT.