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France and the Mediterranean

International Relations, Culture and Politics


Edited By Emmanuel Godin and Natalya Vince

This multidisciplinary edited volume examines wide-ranging exchanges between France and its Mediterranean neighbours and their impact. It questions the changing notion of a Mediterranean space and its representation, centrality and relevance in terms of France’s international relations under Sarkozy’s presidency, from the launch of the Union for the Mediterranean and its complex articulations with the European Union’s own agenda in the region, to the tortuous relations with Libya, made even more complicated by the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’. Beyond the realm of state relations and formal policy networks, the volume examines the crucial role played by diasporas, the interplay between postcolonial and transnational representations in the fields of cultural diplomacy, cinema and architecture, and considers how these can produce merged or hybrid identities. Later in the collection, the politics of ethnicity in post-war France, the interplay between negative perceptions of Islam and the changing memory of the Algerian War, and the evolution of Franco-Algerian relations since 1962 are used to question the weight of the colonial past when analysing the relations between France and North Africa.


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Andrea Brazzoduro - Postcolonial Memories of the Algerian War of Independence, 1955–2010: French Veterans and Contemporary France 275


Andrea Brazzoduro Postcolonial Memories of the Algerian War of Independence, 1955–2010: French Veterans and Contemporary France 1 Cette guerre coloniale est originale même dans la pathologie qu’elle sécrète.2 Dans l’Armée, nous avons fait notre devoir, pour rien finalement, mais nous avions trahi l’Algérie française, et depuis, personne ne nous entend, sauf vous.3 Elie was born in Rennes, in Bretagne, on April 1939, no more than a couple of months before the beginning of the Second World War and the Nazi occupation of France. In 1960, aged twenty-one, Elie was called up by his country to serve in the army in Algeria. There, France is conducting some- thing called a ‘public order operation’ (opérations de maintien de l’ordre) against an internal ‘rébellion’ – as it was called at the time – which has, during the previous six years, enf lamed the French départements of Algeria. 1 I would like to thank Peter Lang’s anonymous reviewers for helpful critical sugges- tions. All translations are mine unless otherwise indicated. 2 ‘This colonial war is singular even in the pathology that it gives rise to.’ F. Fanon, Les Damnés de la terre (Paris: Maspero, 1961), 191. 3 ‘In the army we did our duty, in the end for nothing, but we betrayed French Algeria, and since then no one listens to us, except you.’ Jacques (1936, 60–1/A), dentist, 4th section d’infirmiers militaires, second lieutenant. Letter to the author, 17 January 2008. (‘60–1’ gives...

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