Archive | October, 2015

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, […]

Continue Reading 0

Roundtable with Emile Chabal on French contemporary political culture

ROUNDTABLE EVENT around Emile Chabal’s book ‘A Divided Republic: Nation, State and Citizenship in Contemporary France’ Tuesday 6 October 2015, 5.15-6.45pm, Denis Schiama Building, room 2.14 As part of the CEISR seminar series, the Francophone Africa cluster will host an event around Dr Emile Chabal’s newly published book on contemporary French political culture. With: Dr Emile Chabal (Chancellor’s Fellow in History, University of Edinburgh) Prof David Hanley, Dr Natalya Vince and Emmanuel Godin (University of Portsmouth)   Link to the presentation of ‘A Divided Republic: Nation, State and Citizenship in Contemporary France’. Reviews ‘This is an outstanding and groundbreaking book. It provides a powerful and persuasive account of the transformation of the modern French intellectual landscape, and the emergence of new patterns of republican and liberal thought. The analysis is rich, nuanced, and sophisticated, and Chabal provides us with the essential keys to understanding contemporary French political debates.’ Sudhir Hazareesingh, University of Oxford ‘Emile Chabal demonstrates with great perspicacity how, since the end of the 1970s, a newly revived French republicanism came to prominence amidst the ruins of the grand ideologies of the ‘Trente Glorieuses’. His analysis is compelling and he successfully steers clear of the tired confrontation between (neo-)liberal apologists and […]

Continue Reading 0