The number of young people writing in London grew significantly in the 1970s and 1980s. Several key strands can be identified: the work produced around Stepney Words and the school strike leading to work on youth culture; the writing of migrants who reflected on past and present; and three longer pieces of autobiography and novels. The ways in which these young people engaged with writing revealed links to wider literary models as well as an ambiguous sense of self. Overall, they pose challenges for our understanding of the history of childhood and assumptions about maturity. Distinctions between the learning of young people and adult education reveal considerable overlap rather than a sharp distinction between the two.
This chapter addresses Xavier Leherpeur's concerns and analyzes whether or not television comedies do serve the cause of the immigrants and people linked to immigration. It focuses on what strategies are used to tackle the issue, and finally how they contribute to the representation of minorities on the Paysage Audiovisuel Français (PAF). The chapter introduces the production and reception contexts of the TV series and explores why choosing comedy increases the representativeness of minorities. It also focuses on the aesthetic strategies deployed to represent children of immigrants and their universe and how these strategies transform the spectator's gaze. The chapter examines the strengths and limitations of the political and aesthetic strategies at stake and repositions them within the relevant televisual context. French television culture is very important when it comes to how immigrants and banlieue residents are represented in the media.
Faïza Guène, Saphia Azzeddine, and Nadia Bouzid, or the birth of a new Maghrebi-French women’s literature
This chapter examines how Faïza Guène, Saphia Azzeddine and Nadia Bouzid exceed the literary confines of appellations such as minority literature, decentered literature, literature of the margins, exile literature, and banlieue literature. It demonstrates how the novels seek 'to be grounded and not simply "deterritorialized" or "deterritorializing" for that matter' in a literary landscape that does not pertain to a minority literature, but to literature at large. In France, areas containing relatively large concentrations of residents of foreign origin are almost always multi-ethnic. The stereotype of the Maghrebi-French family order is revisited to offer readers a totally different view of who Maghrebi-French people are nowadays. Azzeddine replaces exclusionary and confrontational identity politics with fluid cultural and identity positions which are adopted or relinquished according to the circumstances but in any case are not pitted against one another.
Integration, social rejection, and educational struggles, as well as challenging gender dynamics are favorite topics in the works of second-generation Maghrebi-French women writers. This chapter analyzes Faïza Guène's novels from a socio-critical perspective, as it looks at the texts as representations of societal dynamics. It also analyzes the evolution of young women characters, bearers of responsibilities that are normally delegated to adults, particularly men. The chapter emphasizes Guène's determination to reject stereotypes associated with the Maghrebi-French youth. It highlights her development as a writer, as well as her shift in thematic interest. 'Stereotypical representations of the housing projects as sites of deviance and violence' are humanized in the novel 'through a tender mother-daughter relationship and communal affiliations found in female solidarity bonds, popular music, and the sharing of food'. Building a new identity in a completely different, and often hostile, environment constitutes an arduous task for the protagonist.
This chapter focuses on literary and cinematic representations of unauthorized maritime journeys. It explores how literature and film have addressed the issues at the core of clandestine migration, a topic Mediterranean writers and filmmakers born and living in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, France, and Italy have tackled increasingly since the late 1990s. The chapter also focuses on Tahar Ben Jelloun's Partir, published in English under the title Leaving Tangier, and Mohamed Teriah's Les "harragas" ou Les barques de la mort, which translates as '"Harragas," or, the Boats of Death'. Cinematic works, like their literary counterparts, provide crucial information on the subtleties of maritime clandestine migration in general. Additionally, they are significant representative and representational mirrors of a Mediterranean reality that concerns legislators, activists, and advocates of burning. The films Harragas and Io, l'altro were directed by Merzak Allouache and Mohsen Melliti respectively.
Starting in the 1980s, filmmakers from Maghrebi immigrant families began to represent themselves and their daily lives. They revealed the discrimination they experienced and the problems arising from an identity crisis within French society. This chapter highlights the idiosyncratic ways and cinematic techniques used by the filmmaker to draw the portraits of three North African immigrants or Maghrebi-French youths, showing their personalities, their journey and their quest, and the communities in which they live.It examines the different cultural allusions deployed by the filmmaker, who chooses to anchor his characters in a composite intercultural field based on literary intertexts and allusions. This releases the protagonists from the chains of ethnic clichés and opens the door to an alternate reality. In his first film, La Faute à Voltaire, Abdellatif Kechiche portrays Jallel, a young Tunisian man, who entered France without papers, thus living there illegally.
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of the book. The book discusses the issues related to the mimetic and transformative powers of literature and film. It examines literary works and films that help deflate stereotypes regarding France's post-immigration population, and promote a new respect for cultural and ethnic minorities. The book highlights the overall renewal of literary and cultural production initiated by post-beur and post-colonial authors with roots in North Africa. It explores a postmemorial methodology intended to correct the foreclosures of French memory through the reading of multiple fictional representations of a significant event of Algerian decolonization. The book demonstrates cinema's potential to rewrite, complement, and fill in the epistemological gaps of the official historical discourse. It describes a new, international type of immigration from the global South caused by a broader form of neo-imperialism.
Franco-Maghrebi identity in Hassan Legzouli’s film Ten’ja
Ten'ja follows the narrative structure of a road movie. The film tells the story of Nordine, a young Franco-Maghrebi man, forced to go to Morocco in order to bury his father, who died in France. This chapter outlines the key moments in Nordine's transformation and initiation from denial to acceptance of his double-sided identity as an essential understanding of his Franco-Maghrebi status on both sides of the Mediterranean. It focuses on the main protagonist's relationship with his father and the impact of the father's death on his sense of identity. The chapter presents a brief examination of the young man's hybrid, Franco-Maghrebi identity as it is revealed to him during his journey. It explores how Hassan Legzouli depicts the journey of transformation of Franco-Maghrebi characters in comparison to other films of the same genre. The European road movie genre explores the spiritual, emotional, and psychological status of the journey.
This chapter examines the place occupied by history when it is present as traces and fragments in the literature of immigration produced in France since the early beur novels of the 1980s. It presents a case study of a single significant date of the Algerian War in metropolitan France, known as October 17, 1961. This specific event has been the object of many inscriptions in postcolonial fiction, starting with several beur novels in the 1980s and their ramifications in today's urban literature. The chapter focuses on the formal presentation of the various inscriptions of the historical event in texts. It analyzes how the aesthetic presentation of the event in fiction has evolved over the past twenty years. Postmemorial writing has to be understood through the larger perspective of the development of a North African immigrant community in France in the 1950s and 1960s.
New configurations of Frenchness in contemporary urban fiction
A collective of writers named 'Qui fait la France?' published a collection of short stories named Chroniques d'une société annoncée, in which writers such as Faïza Guène and Rachid Djaïdani shared their opinion on French society. This chapter establishes a parallel between the development of postcolonial studies in France and the emergence of urban literature, as both contribute to the understanding of "postcolonial France." It expresses that urban literature can be seen as a kind of postcolonial literature as it contains references to, and a critique of, France's colonial past that are informed by a new generation of historians. The emergence of postcolonial studies in France coincides with the realization by a new generation of French citizens that the practices of French imperialism still have a major impact on contemporary French society.