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Woman as Battleground: Marc Garanger's Identity Photographs from Algeria and their Long Afterlives

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Katarzyna FaleckaORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This article examines how photographs of women taken by Marc Garanger during his army service in Algeria (1960–1962) have become sites of multiple, often competing mnemonic projections. At the height of the Algerian War of Independence, Garanger produced nearly two thousand identity photographs of those displaced by the French army from villages to detention camps. The photographs of women are some of the most cited images from the war, having been popularised through Garanger’s own photobooks. They are either read as strictly exploitative or, following Garanger’s narrative, as bearing witness to Algerian suffering. The article departs from attempts to fix the ‘true’ meaning of these images and examines their afterlives, while reflecting upon the hyper-visibility of women as images. It discusses newly recovered archival material, alongside Garanger’s decision to return to Algeria in 2004, revealing inconsistencies in Garanger’s carefully crafted narrative and reflecting upon the speculative futures of these contested images.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Falecka K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Third Text

Year: 2023

Volume: 37

Issue: 1

Pages: 44-60

Online publication date: 25/05/2023

Acceptance date: 25/03/2023

Date deposited: 19/07/2023

ISSN (print): 0952-8822

ISSN (electronic): 1475-5297

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/09528822.2023.2211468


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Funder referenceFunder name
Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC)
Centre d’Etudes Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT)