Neil Macmaster
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Military ‘pacification’ and the women of Bordj Okhriss

The French attempt to elaborate a strategy of contact was important in the isolated regions of Algeria since this is where most of the population lived and in which the Armée de libération nationale maquis found its local support. This chapter looks at the larger oeuvre of Marc Garanger, which consists of over 10,000 photographs of local women of the isolated village of Bordj Okhriss, who were coerced by the army to remove their veils in order to be photographed. It examines the direct impact of the French army on civilian populations in the zones of combat, and the destructive process of resettlement. At the core of the military pacification programme was the mass resettlement of the rural population into camps. The chapter also shows that peasant women were faced with the extraordinary ambiguities and contradictory pressures of civil war.

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Burning the veil

The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62


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