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Identities in flux in French literature, television, and film

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.

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Out-marching exclusion and hatred
Jimia Boutouba

, social, and political integrity. Beyond our indisputable right to live here … it’s the issue of the acquisition of political rights that is now at stake … The justice, equality, and dignity we want, we won’t beg for them. We will loudly and clearly state our rights and all the political factions will have to face their responsibilities … It’s up to us to build and demonstrate our strength. It’s up to us to launch the General Assembly of the youth born to immigrant parents) Democratic politics lies in what one does rather than in what one receives or is entitled to

in Reimagining North African Immigration
New perspectives on immigration
Caroline Fache

immigrants and their descendants, are thriving. Blockbuster comedies about the banlieues, immigration, or children of immigrants, such as Les Kaira (Gastampide, 2012), which had more than one million viewers, the pilot of the TV film series Aïcha (Benguigui, 2008), which set a record with more than five million viewers, and the TV movie pilot of Fortunes (Meunier and Cohen, 2011) show that the French audience is fond of this genre. In order to join in with this popular trend, respond to audience expectations, and satisfy political expectations (such as the equal

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Faïza Guène, Saphia Azzeddine, and Nadia Bouzid, or the birth of a new Maghrebi-French women’s literature
Patrick Saveau

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. At no time does the main character feel torn between her dual cultures. Instead she shows her knowledge of the ins and outs of each culture, adopting what is or is not acceptable for a young woman of her age in order to assert herself and find a place in society. She is shown ‘in a dynamic process’ (Freedman and Tarr, 2000: 5), not as the object of a

in Reimagining North African Immigration
New configurations of Frenchness in contemporary urban fiction
Steve Puig

marginalized them once they moved to France. Paradoxically perhaps, they were also demanding to finally be treated as French citizens, which they have been for decades, and to exist in the way sociologist Abdelmalek Sayad defines the word “existence,” meaning to exist politically, to have some kind of political representation in politics and in society more generally, and in the cultural spheres as well (Sayad, 2006: 13–21). Although the field of postcolonial studies has been vibrant for more than two decades in the anglophone world, it only started to blossom in France at

in Reimagining North African Immigration
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Véronique Machelidon and Patrick Saveau

French politics of assimilation in Guyana was openly intended to promote respect for difference, defend the equality of gay and heterosexual rights, and give a voice to silent social and cultural minorities. Taubira herself, in spite of her French nationality, can be described as a (post)colonial subject1 as well as a Franco-French immigrant, due to her Guyanese roots. Of interest to us here is the potential for (post)colonial subjects and minorities who stand squarely in the middle of the French Republic (as Taubira stood in the center of the hemicycle) to

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Building identities in Faïza Guène’s novels
Florina Matu

daily urban culture, the political culture, as well as the social and the world. They are ‘healing’ their identity by claiming their rightful citizenship within French society). Just like Ahlème and Foued in Du rêve pour les oufs, the two siblings in Bar Balto have a relationship that is characterized by their different personalities. Ali tends to be more rebellious and easily gets in trouble. For instance, the night before the murder he came home with a hideous bleeding nose, the result of a fight with Yéva’s son, Tanièl. While the parents’ reaction is a mix of panic

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Transcending the question of origins
Emna Mrabet

cinematic works testified to the real-life experiences of Maghrebi-French youth emerging at that time in the political and social sphere. Filmmakers like Malik Chibane (France in 1994 and Douce France in 1995) and Rabah Ameur Zaïmeche (Wesh wesh qu’est-ce qui se passe? in 2002) produced their first works by choosing the banlieue3 as the backdrop framing their film narrative. Labeled as beur cinema (beur being a somewhat derogatory term for people from the Maghreb), their works articulated common themes such as societal integration, racism, crime, identity crises, as well

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Mona El Khoury

Djaïdani’s interest in film art (Kiner, 2011). With fake resumes and random castings, he was able to get small parts as an épicier (a storekeeper, typically of Arabic origin in France) or a delinquent, until realizing the political implications of the image he was projecting, namely the cliché of the subaltern or ‘bad’ Arab.4 So he developed the desire to create his own roles in order to elude the stereotypes that essentialize Maghrebi-French men. Before he started directing films, however, his adventure continued on the stage. British theater director Peter Brook first

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Postmemory and identity in harki and pied noir narratives
Véronique Machelidon

competition between different communities for best victim status. From then on, the various memory groups already located on the margins of society do not hold the State or political representatives accountable but instead turn against each other). In turn, this attitude reinforces the ‘colonial fracture’ (Bancel and Blanchard, 2006: 13)1 and France’s amnesia regarding its colonial past, which has severe consequences for its present and future, as postcolonial subjects, the ghosts of the French Republic (Barclay, 2011: 22), feel socially excluded, and an ‘important segment

in Reimagining North African Immigration