France and the Maghreb: Performative Encounters by Mireille Rosello

By Mireille Rosello

Looking at writers, administrators, and thinkers who're associated with the Maghreb, Mireille Rosello argues that new varieties of encounters among the French and the Algerians have the aptitude to counteract the damaging strength of history. She keeps that those “performative” encounters are moments of fragile and precarious trade which can shift the tragic paradigm of violence and distrust between Arabs, Berbers, and Europeans or between Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
             A performative come across among old adversaries creates new subject-positions, a brand new language, and a brand new protocol of cohabitation, she contends. functionality encounters inaugurate a brand new old script. At such occasions topics can redefine one another, they usually can communicate no longer in French or Arabic yet in a language just like Khatibi's poetical and interstitial “bilanguage” that reexamines the phrases and practices in their interaction.
            conscious of the interconnections between language, gender, literature, and cultural politics, Rosello seems at a wealthy number of modern tales generated through historians (Benjamin Stora, Mohamed Harbi, Charles-Robert Ageron), philosophers (Jacques Derrida), filmmakers (Yamina Benguigui, Mehdi Lallaoui), and rising and across the world well-known writers (Fouad Laroui, Mehdi Charef, Abdelkebir Khatibi). She devotes specified attention to an leading edge research of the paintings of 1 of crucial modern French-language writers, Assia Djebar. 

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Extra resources for France and the Maghreb: Performative Encounters

Sample text

On the other hand, those who view the presence of a large Algerian population in France as a threat to French culture might well be angered by what they will interpret as a pro-immigration statement. Balibar clearly rejects both points of view, which is why it is so intriguing that he should continue to maintain that it is impossible to simply separate the two nations. For if we cannot even identify two separate entities, then how could France and Algeria really meet each other? Is Balibar suggesting that no simple encounter will ever be possible because of the absence of autonomous subjects or subject-positions?

That phenomenon is not limited to the distant past, nor is it a way of avoiding more recent events. 10 Such was the case in 1994 when members of the Groupes Islamistes Armés (GIA) hijacked an Air France aircraft and in 1995 when bombs were planted in Paris. Moreover, the fact that many of the intellectuals and artists assassinated around 1993 were Francophone and internationally famous also attracted the media’s attention, although the series of massacres perpetrated in Algerian villages was not covered as effectively.

In the twenty-first century, it still makes cultural sense to imagine France and Algeria as the old bitter and bickering couple of Djebar’s stories, but it is also legitimate to suspect that the historic “couple” is being historicized and questioned. Clearly, as Nourredine Saadi remarks, the icon of the couple continues to dominate a certain cultural landscape: “on ne peut parler des relations francoalgériennes sans évoquer les mots de la passion, invoquer le couple, comme s’il s’agissait de personnes ou de personnages de fiction” [it is impossible to talk about Franco-Algerian relationships without using passionate language, without conjuring up images of couples as if they were real persons or characters in a novel] (2003: 170).

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