Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 53 items for :

  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Susan Ireland

10 Representations of the harkis in contemporary French-language films Susan Ireland After the signing of the Evian Accords on March 19, 1962, which officially ended the Algerian War of Independence, thousands of harkis, the Algerians who had worked for the French Army during the conflict, were killed by angry compatriots who viewed them as traitors. Many of those who managed to flee to France found themselves isolated in temporary housing camps, felt abandoned by the French, and were often rejected by Algerian immigrants who had supported the Front de

in Reimagining North African Immigration
History and memory within the pied-noir and harki communities, 1962–2012
Author:

French rule in Algeria ended in 1962 following almost eight years of intensely violent conflict, producing one of the largest migratory waves of the post-1945 era. Almost a million French settlers - pieds-noirs - and tens of thousands of harkis - native auxiliaries who had fought with the French army - felt compelled to leave their homeland and cross the Mediterranean to France. Tracing the history of these two communities, From Empire to Exile explores the legacies of the Algerian War of Independence in France. It uses the long-standing grassroots collective mobilisation and memory activism undertaken by both groups to challenge the idea that this was a ‘forgotten’ war that only returned to public attention in the 1990s. Revealing the rich and dynamic interactions produced as pieds-noirs, harkis and other groups engaged with each other and with state-sanctioned narratives, this study demonstrates the fundamental ways in which postcolonial minorities have shaped the landscapes of French politics, society and culture since 1962. It also helps place the current ‘memory wars’ deemed to be sweeping France in their wider historical context, proving that the current competition for control over the representation of the past in the public sphere is not a recent development, but the culmination of long-running processes. By reconceptualising the ways in which the Algerian War has been debated, evaluated and commemorated in the five decades since it ended, this book makes an original contribution to important discussions surrounding the contentious issues of memory, migration and empire in contemporary France.

Abstract only
Claire Eldridge

6 Speaking out In contrast to the embattled nature of pied-noir activism in the 1990s, the attention being devoted to the harkis by an increasingly aware state, media and general public began to move the community from the margins into the mainstream. This was reflected in a series of gestures from the state that built upon the principle, established by Giscard d’Estaing in 1974, that ‘French Muslims’ were entitled to ‘national recognition’.1 On 11 June 1994, this sentiment was translated into a unanimously adopted law acknowledging the moral debt owed by the

in From empire to exile
Claire Eldridge

2 The sounds of silence In the early 1960s, alongside its preoccupations with aid and compensation, ANFANOMA used the pages of its newspaper, France horizon, to evoke the plight of the harkis. Focusing on their current situation, this coverage emphasised the danger faced by harkis and the need for the French authorities to act promptly in order to guarantee the safety of ‘these brave men who have always stayed loyal to us’.1 In ANFANOMA’s eyes, the faithful service of the harkis to France made it a question of honour and justice that the government take

in From empire to exile
Claire Eldridge

4 Breaking the silence During the summer of 1991, the south of France witnessed a series of harki protests. Areas with high concentrations of harkis and their families, such as the Cité des Oliviers in Narbonne (Aude), the town of Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres (Gard) and the site of the Bias camp (Lot-et-Garonne), featured regularly in local and national media, particularly when demonstrations turned to violence. In news reports, footage of night skies backlit by burning cars with silhouettes of young men brandishing sticks and throwing rocks was interspersed with

in From empire to exile
Postmemory and identity in harki and pied noir narratives
Véronique Machelidon

9 Unearthing the father’s secret: postmemory and identity in harki and pied noir narratives Véronique Machelidon Interviewed by Thierry Leclère in La Guerre des mémoires: La France face à son passé colonial, renowned French historian Benjamin Stora summarized his life’s work as an attempt to ‘dresser des passerelles entre deux mémoires différentes [de la colonisation française] et de trouver des espaces mémoriels communs’ (2011: 37) (bridge two different memories of French colonization and find common memorial spaces). In an earlier article titled ‘Quand une

in Reimagining North African Immigration
Abstract only
Claire Eldridge

repentance, all of which have experienced a heightened visibility both in France and globally. Exploring the champs de bataille, or ‘battlefields’, on which the ‘memory wars’ are currently being ‘fought’ helps to illuminate the interplay between the domestic and international contexts in which the communities concerned are operating. Binding together these different elements is an overarching preoccupation with the question of transmission as both pied-noir and harki activists consider how best to pass on the past to subsequent generations and thus ensure the longevity of

in From empire to exile
Abstract only
Claire Eldridge

enslave them, and finally to make them disappear’, Dillinger was clear that to refuse to engage in order to counter such falsifications would not only be ‘a veritable desertion’ but also ‘suicidal’ for the pieds-noirs.5 In a war, one is obliged to choose a side. This leads groups to view each other as ‘allies’ to be courted or ‘enemies’ to be defeated, creating ‘a campaigning logic that, most often, refuses to take into account the suffering of others’.6 As this chapter will argue, this climate has led pied-noir and harki activists to re-evaluate and sometimes

in From empire to exile
Abstract only
Claire Eldridge

Conclusion The year 2012 marked the half-century of Algerian independence and of the arrival of the pieds-noirs and harkis in France. In terms of the genealogies of memory that this book has sought to trace, anniversaries offer useful occasions on which to take stock:  to step back and think about whose voices are being heard, which stories are being told and who is listening. They also enable us, in the words of Isabel Hollis, to identify ‘key moments of fracture, division and reconciliation’.1 The tenor of the 2012 commemorations did not quite stretch to

in From empire to exile
Abstract only
Claire Eldridge

, the law’s provisions were aimed primarily at pieds-noirs, the former settlers of that territory, who had been instrumental in lobbying for the measures, and harkis, Algerians who had served as native auxiliaries with the French army during the War of Independence (1954–62). Of the thirteen articles that comprised the law, Article 4 stood out through its stipulation that French school curricula should ‘recognise in particular the positive role of the French presence overseas, notably in North Africa’.1 Reactions to the law were swift and vehement, as various groups

in From empire to exile