Archive for the ‘Independence’ Tag

Independence Day, Algiers

Independence Day and my last day in Algiers. Half-hearted celebrations, a few more flags and police than usual. Algerians seem largely to ignore the national holiday, with many shops open for business and young couples strolling on the sea front. Nationalism is perhaps here, as elsewhere, only a ghost of contradictions, summoned as troubled cultural expression and conflicted by ethnic grievances. It is also a presiding spirit of resistance to the economic dispossession and police control of Algerians by an oil-rich elite at home, as well to the marginalisation of Algerian minorities in France. It was this spirit that imbued the carnivalesque repossession of public space by Algerians in the centres of Marseille and Paris during the 2010 World Cup.

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Passerelle de la Fraternité, Aubervilliers, Paris

[Bridge bearing a plaque in commemoration of 17 October 1961]

Dear Ed and Joe,

Bridges, crossings, and bodies of water as liquid frontiers are emerging as key features of my journey and yours, it seems.

All best,

John

Place La Courneuve – 8 Mai 1945, Paris, 12 June 2010

Eau Sauvage, Place La Courneuve – 8 Mai 1945, Paris, 12 June 2010

A place name commemorating not only VE Day but also a day when massacres took place against peaceful protesters in French Algeria, at Guelma, Bône, and Sétif. Courneuve has a high concentration of North African, Sub-Saharan, Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Vietnamese, and Chinese immigrants.

Pont de Neuilly, Paris, 12 June 2010

One of the sites of police violence on the night of 17 Oct 1961.

50th Anniversary Commemorative Stamp of the FLN Football Team