Our fighting sisters: Nation, memory and gender in Algeria, 1954–2012

Our fighting sisters: Nation, memory and gender in Algeria, 1954–2012 by Dr Natalya Vince is out now with Manchester University Press. Between 1954 and 1962, Algerian women played a major role in the struggle to end French rule in one of the most violent wars of decolonisation of the twentieth century. Our Fighting Sisters is the first in-depth exploration of what happened to these women after independence in 1962. Based on new oral history interviews with women who participated in the war in a wide range of roles, from members of the Algiers urban bomb network to women who supported the rural guerrilla, the book explores how female veterans viewed the post-independence state and its multiple discourses on ‘the Algerian woman’ in the fifty years following 1962, from the euphoria of national liberation to the civil violence of the 1990s. It also examines the ways in which these former combatants’ memories of the anti-colonial conflict intertwine with, contradict or coexist alongside the state-sponsored narrative of the war constructed after independence. Part of an emerging field of works seeking to write the post-independence Algerian history, this book aims to go beyond reading Algeria through the lens of post-colonial trauma or through a series […]

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Documenting the Mediterranean Catastrophe: An interview with film-maker Jakob Preuss (Part 2)

Sunday 19th April brought the highest loss of life yet seen in the ongoing Mediterranean refugee crisis as an estimated 800 people drowned when the boat they were on capsized 60 miles off the Libyan coast. Prior to this latest disaster Dr Ed Naylor spoke to documentary-maker Jakob Preuss about his recent experiences filming with migrants seeking to cross into Europe for his film entitled ‘Europe’s Borderlands’. In the second of our three part series, Ed and Jakob discuss some of Jakob’s encounters with migrants on the southern side of the Mediterranean. What reactions have you encountered from people you’ve approached to film? Has the growing journalistic interest created suspicion? The West Africans I met who were living in the forest in Morocco are in a sense “professionals”, pretty used to the visits of journalists, activists and to a lesser extent film-makers. There is a delicate ethical issue since people naturally expect something in return but paying protagonists to appear on film would completely undermine the dynamic of the relationships I try to establish in my documentaries. In practice, we brought food, medicine and supplies whenever we visited the camps regardless of whether we were filming. There was a funny […]

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