Fifty years after Algerian independence, the legacy of France's Algerian past, and the ongoing complexities of the Franco-Algerian relationship, remain a key preoccupation in both countries. A central role in shaping understanding of their shared past and present is played by visual culture. This study investigates how relations between France and Algeria have been represented and contested through visual means since the outbreak of the Algerian War in 1954. It probes the contours of colonial and postcolonial visual culture in both countries, highlighting the important roles played by still and moving images when Franco-Algerian relations are imagined. Analysing a wide range of images made on both sides of the Mediterranean – from colonial picture postcards of French Algeria to contemporary representations of postcolonial Algiers – this new book is the first to trace the circulation of, and connections between, a diverse range of images and media within this field of visual culture. It shows how the visual representation of Franco-Algerian links informs our understanding both of the lived experience of postcoloniality within Europe and the Maghreb, and of wider contemporary geopolitics.
Edward Welch is Senior Lecturer in French at Durham University.
Joseph McGonagle is Lecturer in Cultural Studies in the French-speaking World at The University of Manchester.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Visualising the Franco-Algerian Relationship
Part One. Algerian Pasts in the French Public Sphere
1. Wish We Were There: Nostalgic (Re)visions of France’s Algerian Past
2. Visions of History: Looking Back at the Algerian War
3. Out of the Shadows: The Visual Career of 17 October 1961
Part Two. Mapping Franco-Algerian Borders in Contemporary Visual Culture
4. War Child: Memory, Childhood and Algerian Pasts in Recent French Film
5. Bridging the Gap: Representations of the Mediterranean Sea
6. A Sense of Place: Envisioning Post-Colonial Space in France and Algeria
April 30, 2013
Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 27