Postmemory and identity in harki and pied noir narratives
This chapter establishes the validity of a comparison between works belonging to seemingly different genres. "Postmemory" describes the relationship that the "generation after" bears to the personal, collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before to experiences they "remember" only by means of the stories, images, and behaviors among which they grew up. Through their respective mnemonic work, both Dalila Kerchouche's and Thierry Galdeano's narrators seek to humanize the father and with him the collectivity he represents, whether harki or pied noir. Galdeano's overall intent is to pay tribute to the long sufferings of the harkis in France and give them a visible platform to claim recognition for their sacrifices. Kerchouche's reluctance to bring in pied noir memories of the Algerian War and expatriation may well be in part a firm refusal to compromise with pied noir ideology and its belief in an idealized colonial society.
Christiane Taubira's spirited invocation of colonial poetry at the French National Assembly in 2013 denounced the French politics of assimilation in Guyana . It was seen as an attempt to promote respect for difference, defend the equality of gay and heterosexual rights, and give a voice to silent social and cultural minorities. Taubira's unmatched passion for poetry and social justice, applied to the current Political arena, made her an instant star in the media and on the Internet. This book relates 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, promote a new respect for cultural and ethnic minorities. The writers and filmmakers examined in the book have found new ways to conceptualize the French heritage of immigration from North Africa and to portray the current state of multiculturalism in France. The book opens with Steve Puig's helpful recapitulation of the development of beur, banlieue, and urban literatures, closely related and partly overlapping taxonomies describing the cultural production of second-generation, postcolonial immigrants to France. Discussing the works of three writers, the book discusses the birth of a new Maghrebi-French women's literature. Next comes an examination of how the fictional portrayal of women in Guene's novels differs from the representation of female characters in traditional beur literature. The book also explores the development of Abdellatif Kechiche's cinema, Djaidani's film and fiction, French perception of Maghrebi-French youth, postmemorial immigration, fiction, and postmemory and identity in harki.
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.