By Andrea L. Smith
Maltese settlers in colonial Algeria had by no means lived in France, yet as French electorate have been without warning “repatriated” there after Algerian independence in 1962. In France this day, those pieds-noirs are usually linked to “Mediterranean” characteristics, the persisting tensions surrounding the French-Algerian conflict, and far-right, anti-immigrant politics. via their social golf equipment, they've got solid an id during which Malta, now not Algeria, is the unifying ancestral place of origin. Andrea L. Smith makes use of historical past and ethnography to argue that students have didn't account for the influence of colonialism on Europe itself. She explores nostalgia and collective reminiscence; the settlers’ liminal place within the colony as subalterns and colonists; and selective forgetting, within which Malta replaces Algeria, the “true” place of origin, that is now inaccessible, fraught with guilt and contradiction. The learn presents perception into race, ethnicity, and nationalism in Europe in addition to cultural context for figuring out political traits in modern France.
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Additional info for Colonial Memory and Postcolonial Europe: Maltese Settlers in Algeria and France
Yet age was catching up with her and she was starting to really feel like the grandparent she now was. We would sit into the evening on their low floral divans that surrounded a coffee table, drinking tea and eating Rose’s latest marmalade-glazed tea cake, or a treat I had brought them from a bakery in town. Their daughter lived two floors down in the six-story building, and their seven-year-old granddaughter often was with us, coloring or playing with her toys. Her parents worked in Marseilles.
He is an energetic man, in his late seventies when I first met him, and endowed with a quick wit and captivating speaking voice. Michel Pisani, his co-organizer, is a somewhat shorter, muscular, balding man with wire-rimmed glasses and 34 | the slightly tanned skin of somebody who has spent much of his life in the sun. François’s junior by more than a decade, he often deferred to him, only to regret it on more than one occasion. During this meeting, François explained in detail the origin of his last name, Xuereb: Phoenician, he said, like that of many of the original Maltese families, and he showed me a book illustrating his blazon de famille, his family’s coat of arms.
Pierre Nora has taken many of these ideas to a remarkable conclusion. 28 It is Nora’s contention that modern societies have a new relationship to the past: memory is no longer experienced directly, but is now mediated via history. Later in this volume I consider the shifts Nora argues have occurred in the salience of French republican memory and the decline of the French nation-state as a unifying framework of collective identity. Here I address Nora’s contention that “modern” societies no longer experience memory directly.
Colonial Memory and Postcolonial Europe: Maltese Settlers in Algeria and France by Andrea L. Smith