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Central Bankers for Presidents? Another look at the Ivorian presidential election

On the occasion of the coming presidential election in Ivory Coast, Vincent Duchaussoy analyses the trajectories of Alassane D. Ouattara and his political opponent Charles Konnan Banny. Despite different backgrounds, their central banking careers launched them in the political sphere. The privileged position of Ivory Coast within the BCEAO (Central Bank of the Western African States) emphasizes the influence of Central bankers on politics. Vincent Duchaussoy is postdoctoral fellow at the Université de Rouen in France. His PhD thesis focused on the history of the organisation and the governmentality of the Banque de France. He co-coordinates the research programme HIZOF, specialised in the history of the Franc zone and economic relations in the francophone zone. Eleven candidates will run in the upcoming presidential election in Ivory Coast for which the first round is scheduled on 25 October 2015. They will try to replace Alassane D. Ouattara, elected in 2010 after an electoral crisis. Many analysts would argue that Ouattara will in all likelihood be re-elected. However, there are many parallels between the career-paths of the current president and one of his most serious contenders, Charles Konan Banny. Each of them indeed started their curriculum in the 1970s at the BCEAO, […]

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A Syrian Love Story: narration of a subject or subjects of narration?

The critically acclaimed documentary, A Syrian Love Story, by Sean McAllister, follows a couple of ‘refugees’ from Syria, and their children, through their journey to France. The film-maker’s choice of a personal standpoint to show their story provides multidimensional insights into their lives and the emotional and intellectual toll of displacement. But while this inspired film challenges stereotypes usually endured by refugees, Camille Jacob, PhD student and member of the Francophone Africa cluster, wonders about the narrative it offers.   Sean McAllister’s documentary of the relationship between a Syrian and a Palestinian activist through the Arab Springs, revolution, civil war and displacement is timely and pertinent. However, its main strength lies in moving away from the one-dimensional show of the atrocities of the civil war and focusing purely on the family. Amer and Raghda met and fell in love in prison; after their release they married and had children. Raghda wrote a book about their story, which landed her back into prison. As filming starts, Amer is anxiously trying to bring her home, and hopes that accepting to be filmed will hasten the process. We intermittently follow the trials of the family for five years as they move fifteen times, […]

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