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Fires of resistance in Algerian discourse: A genealogy of a trope

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Guy Austin, Dr Gemma McKinnie



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This article takes as its starting point the use of fire as a political metaphor by Algerians who participated in the Screening Violence research project; it emerged in these discussions as a trope of struggle and conflict in Algeria. In part, this political imaginary has been influenced by France, where fire has historically represented freedom and resistance to unjust powers. However, this inheritance has not been received passively in Algeria, and its irony in a colonial context contributes to a complex relationship with tropes of resistance in Algerian cultural and social discourse. We therefore trace a genealogy of the trope of fire which acknowledges the inevitable and significant contribution of the French political imaginary to the Algerian, but which also recognises the distinct cultural modes of resistance taken up by Algerian artists and political activists themselves, from the Algerian Revolution of 1954 to the Hirak protests of 2019.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Austin G, McKinnie G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: French Cultural Studies

Year: 2022

Volume: 33

Issue: 4

Pages: 315-327

Print publication date: 01/11/2022

Online publication date: 18/04/2022

Acceptance date: 18/04/2022

Date deposited: 27/06/2023

ISSN (print): 0957-1558

ISSN (electronic): 1740-2352

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/09571558221092963

Notes: Co-written by Austin and McKinnie (50/50).


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