IJFS special issue: Progress, change and development: Francophone perspectives

The first issue of the year (19/1) of the International Journal of Francophone Studies, edited by Margaret Majumdar and Fabienne Chamelot, addresses Francophone perspectives on Progress, change and development.

“While the perspectives underlying these texts are very different, what unites the subject matter is the underlying preoccupation with history as progress. While some accept the ideals of modernity, freedom and economic, social, political amelioration and focus their critique on the deficiencies of their implementation to date, others channel their work more to unpicking the unintended effects of historical change, challenging received wisdom to date and the analysing the cultural processes and products through which many of the ensuing contradictions are articulated.”

Here is the table of content. More details here: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=3140/
Progress, change and development: Francophone perspectives
Fabienne Chamelot And  Margaret A. Majumdar

Tunisian internal autonomy and the transformation of the French colonial empire
Ryo Ikeda

Algérie: Libération nationale et construction de la nation
Catherine Lévy

L’Algérie: La postindépendance, l’effervescence cosmopolite et la littérature
Authors:  Beïda Chikhi

Transformations institutionnelles et développement économique dans la zone franc en Afrique de l’Ouest (1960–1990)
Authors:  Vincent Duchaussoy

Reading between the lines: Identity issues in Kanak narratives and the agency of the storyteller
Authors:  Catherine O’Connell

Persistance du lien colonial français depuis l’abolition de l’esclavage à La Réunion et critique des figures de l’émancipation
Authors:  Laëtitia Boqui-Queni

The ‘Wretched of the Earth’ – then and now
Authors:  Margaret A. Majumdar

Timeless Algiers: Les Riches Heures by Patrick Altès

Patrick Altès was a Leverhulme Artist in Residence working with the Francophone Africa cluster in 2012/13. Since then, he has been exhibiting works inspired by the residency around the world, including as part of Caravan, an international and interreligious peacebuilding arts non-profit. His work is currently on show at the Musée d’Art Moderne Algérien as part of the 7th edition of the FIAC, the International Festival of Contemporary Art

Patrick Altès explains below the genesis of his new work, Les Riches Heures, selected by the FIAC.


My reaction to the title of the show and what it represents has been to freeze a frame, create a timeless moment stripped of its historical significance as well as to refer to the auroral or a-historic time marking the origin and creation of cultures and civilizations.

FIAC Les Riches Heures

Les Riches Heures

The constant ebb and flow of civilizations around the Mediterranean shores over the millennia has always fascinated me. In this context, the many facets of Algiers, “A huge geological animal that constituted the city and its thousand streets” (Kamel Daoud, Meursault, La contre-enquête), “On a happy shore and under the light of the first morning of the world” (Albert Camus, Le Premier Homme), could only but irresistibly attract me.

In Les Riches Heures, the city is apparently open, candid and exuberant but in fact secret, proud and reserved. Civilizations intersect, intertwine and challenge each other. The Bay of Algiers suggests an inherent sweetness of life while the harbor imposes its intrinsic brutality. The multitudes of photos used in this work are the result of long random walks through to city as well as chance meeting with its inhabitants. They intertwine into a rich tapestry of civilizational contrasts, juxtapositions, interpretations and mirroring reflections, symbolic of the city’s identity.

Intended as a hymn to life and hope, the work is chaotic and fertile, rich and sensual at once. Imaginary drawings of flowers are superimposed on the kaleidoscope of the city. These flowers, adorned with oriental decorative motifs, evoke the fertile ground for change as well as the power of the people, fragile, fleeting and generous. Below the table, on the floor, an accumulation of dead flowers and bouquets refers to the inevitable passage of civilizations and open more personal narratives.

Les Riches Heures, a panoramic representation of the city, is also a personal and memorial representation of Algiers. Furthermore, it explores the notion of the third dimension in a two-dimensional work, which discards perspective and refers to the color theory of Paul Klee. The narrative conveys a talismanic, magical value. It crystallizes a reflection on origins and its relationship with the concept of identity while affirming the eclectic and humanistic value of the work.