This article examines the politics of interwar colonial identification practices put into place by the French colonial state in order to curtail the mobility of colonial (im)migrants. I argue that photography was used as a tool of imperial control in both French West Africa (AOF) and metropolitan France, since colonial men’s inability to provide the required photographic portraits often prevented them from moving around the empire. In response, colonial subjects appropriated photography in alternative ways to subvert these administrative restrictions. Moreover, they took advantage of metropolitan racial stereotypes to contest Western identification practices.
Controlling Colonial Migrants in Interwar France and Senegal
Johann Le Guelte
Un nouveau regard sur les migrants (post)coloniaux (1945–1985)
inassimilable 5 . Ils cherchèrent dès lors à limiter l’arrivée des migrants algériens, bien que ceux-ci puissent théoriquement circuler librement entre France et Algérie entre 1946 et 1973 6 . À cette fin, des politiques et pratiques policières restrictives
Managing North African Migration and the Bidonvilles in Paris's Banlieues
Melissa K. Byrnes
In the late-1950s, the Parisian suburbs of Saint-Denis and Asnières-sur-Seine launched major urban renovation projects to eliminate the bidonvilles, shantytowns that often housed North African migrants. While Asnières viewed the bidonville occupants as obstacles to modernization, Saint-Denis billed its efforts as a humanitarian project to provide migrants with better housing and to support migrants' rights and social welfare. Officials in Asnières used their renovation plans to bring new, metropolitan French, families into the reclaimed areas and redistribute the single male workers outside their city. Dionysien officials, however, aimed at inclusion, providing new accommodation within the city for many families and a majority of workers. The renovation efforts in these two cities demonstrate the diversity of French reactions to North African migrants, suggest the existence of alternative notions of local community identity, and highlight the importance of the Algerian War in defining France's migration framework.
Politics and Policy in a "Color-Blind" State
Since the end of the Second World War, millions of immigrants have arrived on French shores.1 Although such an influx of foreigners has not been unusual in French history,2 the origin of the postwar migrants was of a different character than that of previous eras. Prior to World War II, the vast majority of immigrants to France came from within Europe. Since 1945, however, an important percentage of migrants have come from non-European sources. Whether from former colonies in North Africa, Southeast Asia, or sub-Saharan Africa, from overseas departments and territories, or from countries such as Turkey or Sri Lanka, recent immigration has created a new ethnic and cultural pluralism in France. At the end of the 1990s, the visibly nonwhite population of France totals approximately five percent of all French residents.3 With millions of ethnic-minority citizens and denizens, the new France wears a substantially different face from that of the prewar era.
Jeremy D. Popkin France after Revolution: Urban Life, Gender, and the New Social Order by Denise Z. Davidson
Gregory Mann Boundaries of the Republic: Migrant Rights and the Limits of Universalism in France, 1918-1940 by Mary Dewhurst Lewis
Elisa Camiscioli Races, racisme et antiracisme dans les années 1930 by Carole Reynaud Paligot
Ulrich Johannes Schneider From Revolution to Ethics: May 1968 and Contemporary French Thought by Julian Bourg
Jacques de Maillard Governing and Governance in France by Alistair Cole
Sarah A. Curtis The Pariahs of Yesterday: Breton Migrants in Paris by Leslie Page Moch
Claudie Bernard La Virginité féminine: Mythes, fantasmes, émancipation by Yvonne Knibiehler
Bertram M. Gordon Exclusions: Practicing Prejudice in French Law and Medicine, 1920–1945 by Julie Fette
Christopher Endy The French Way: How France Embraced and Rejected American Values and Power by Richard F. Kuisel
Michael Seidman La Fin du village: Une histoire française by Jean-Pierre Le Goff
Andrea Smith Rites of the Republic: Citizens' Theatre and the Politics of Culture in Southern France by Mark Ingram
Negotiating Space for Ethnic Minorities in Europe
Jennifer Fredette, Constructing Muslims in France: Discourse, Public Identity, and the Politics of Citizenship (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014).
Maxwell Rahsaan, Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
This article reviews two books that address the inherently complicated puzzle of ethnic minority accommodation in Europe. These works recognize the pressing need to understand the parameters within which minority populations and states build relationships and delineate identities, and thus the process of minority inclusion. In doing so they contribute to interdisciplinary scholarship devoted to examining how host societies manage the real and perceived threats to social, economic, and political cohesion. But questions remain. How should we define the concept of successful integration and how must we measure it? What are the factors driving successful versus failed integration? How do these factors change over time and across national contexts?
The Language and Politics of Race in the Late Third Republic
Jennifer Anne Boittin
This article uses notes generated by France's surveillance of African and Afro-Caribbean migrants during the interwar years to analyze the use black men made of racial terms such as nègre and mulâtre. Although developed before the twentieth century, such racial language was infused with new political, social and cultural meaning after World War I. Workers and intellectuals, often at odds with each other, developed a race consciousness that was both a means of uniting in response to colonialism and a reaction against those within their communities who did not appear anti-imperial enough in their politics. Arguing that racial language expressed the nuances and range of black men's political and ideological stances with respect to the French Empire, this article traces the meanings granted to race and the important role in cultivating their significance played by members of organizations such as the Union des Travailleurs Nègres.
A Political Experiment with IBM Machines during the Algerian War
The Paris police faced considerable problems in trying to identify migrant workers who, during the Algerian War, provided a support base for the Front de libération nationale. In order to overcome the failings of manual card-index systems (fichiers) the Préfecture of Police experimented in 1959-62 with IBM punch-card machines. The origin of these powerful identification techniques can be traced back to the inter-war statistical services headed by René Carmille. Although such methods were banned after the Liberation because of their repressive potential, they were discretely revived to track Algerians. Although the experiment proved successful, the proliferation of numerous decentralized fichiers continued to make the process of identifying wanted Algerians slow and cumbersome and this enabled FLN clandestine networks to survive intact to the end of the Algerian War. However, while rapidly superceded by true computers, the punch-card experiment was a precursor of contemporary, high-speed "Panoptican" systems and the computer driven" "révolution identitaire".
Accueillir Les Français Rapatriés D 'algérie , Histoire D 'une Régulation Sociale Par L 'évitement Des Bidonvilles
L'exemple de Paris, 1962–1969
This article explores the policies that the French government pursued to house repatriates from Algeria in 1962. These initiatives took place in the context of a French society overwhelmed by eight years of war, OAS terrorism that sought to overthrow the established order in metropolitan France, and the arrival of more than 600,000 people during the spring and the summer of 1962, a migration that challenged the social and economic balance of the country. To spare the repatriates the need to settle in shantytowns that would have put them on the fringe of society, the government opened collective housing and other centres d'hébergement. These efforts served the purpose of a policy of integration established through the 26 December 1962 law for people who were paradoxically both migrants and members of the national community. This policy in fact helped facilitate their integration into the metropolitan society.