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Against amnesia: representations of memory in Algerian cinema

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Guy Austin


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Remembering and forgetting in their most extreme forms are crucial factors in the negotiation of a modern Algerian national identity. Algeria's history since gaining independence from French rule in 1962 has made questions of memory particularly acute. This article explores how the Algerian cinema of the last twenty years or so has attempted to counter official history – working against both enforced amnesia and a state-sanctioned monolithic memory fixated on the liberation struggle – to celebrate the transmission of corporeal gendered memory, of marginalized cultural identities, and of neglected historical origins. In the context of October 1988 and the so-called civil war of the 1990s, close readings are offered of films by Merzak Allouache, Mohamed Chouikh, Nadir Mokneche, Amor Hakkar and Tariq Teguia. Theoretical underpinning comes from readings of Fanon, Freud, cultural history and trauma theory.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Austin G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of African Cinemas

Year: 2010

Volume: 2

Issue: 1

Pages: 27-35

Print publication date: 01/07/2010

ISSN (print): 1754-9221

ISSN (electronic): 1754-923X

Publisher: Intellect Ltd.


DOI: 10.1386/jac.2.1.27_1


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