Just a few words on the passing of Assia Djebar

Prof Margaret Majumdar, Professor of Francophone Studies, University of Portsmouth Assia Djebar, who has died in Paris in the early hours of Saturday February 7th 2015, was not just a great Algerian woman but a writer and film-maker of international stature, who took her seat in the Académie Française in 2006 and received world-wide recognition and honours for her work. Like many of her compatriots, she did not perhaps receive the honour she deserved in her own country in her lifetime. In death, however, she will now be received back in Algeria with the full panoply of state ceremony. She will be truly mourned, however, by her ‘sisters’, the Women of Algiers, whose voices and words from both past and present she endeavoured to bring out of the silence in which they had been confined . Her lifelong work has played a major role in de-exoticising North African women and extracting them from the shadows of the past and their seclusion, bringing back to life the hidden histories they have transmitted across the generations. The Wassila/ Avife network, concerned with sexual violence and the mistreatment of children, along with other feminist groups in Algeria, will play a major role in the tributes […]

Continue Reading 0

Seminar announcement: Dr. Ibrahima Diallo on ‘Francophonie in sub-Saharan Africa: an old wine in a new bottle?’

On Wednesday 11 February (1-3pm, Park Building 2.16), Dr. Ibrahima Diallo (University of South Australia) will present a paper entitled ‘Francophonie in sub-Saharan Africa: an old wine in a new bottle?’ This presentation is based on his research book which analyses the geopolitics of French in sub-Saharan Africa.  In this presentation, he will examine the trajectory of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), commonly known as Francophonie, and the ways in which it has adjusted to the post-colonial context in sub-Saharan Africa. The Francophonie vision is not new as the word was already used by the French geographer Onésime Reclus in 1886; a revelation of the centrality of the French language in France’s colonial ideology. However, following the Second World War and the decolonization of former French colonies, the Francophonie was resuscitated on the ashes of the Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique (ACCT) and subsequently rebranded and its aims reassigned to address the challenges faced by France in the post-colonial context in sub-Saharan Africa. In this presentation, he will argue that recent linguistic and geostrategic changes in Africa (and elsewhere in the world) have prompted the Francophonie to revise its public discourse and strategies while firmly upholding the long-standing French linguistic and geostrategic interests in its backyard in Francophone Africa. […]

Continue Reading 0