Settler Sites of Memory and the Work of Mourning

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Author: Andrea Smith
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Since their arrival in France in the early 1960s, former settlers of Algeria have developed an array of private and public “sites of memory” projects that have remained unnoticed in wider French society or have been interpreted uncharitably. This article offers a new perspective on these projects. Informed by Maurice Halbwachs' concern with the material supports for collective memory and Sigmund Freud's insights on loss, I reinterpret them as stages in a work of mourning, and offer new insights on the wider question of France's relationship to its colonial past.

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