This article examines independent cinematic images of the Paris banlieue from the late 1990s to the present. Independent commercial and television films, documentaries, and amateur movies provide evidence of the changing representation of the Paris suburbs, and the shift from a spectacularized landscape of brutality to a more nuanced rendering of suburban life. It treats independent cinematic readings of the banlieue as related to the romanticized and touristic portrayal of central Paris.
Sur le divorce entre la Gauche et les enfants d'immigrés
This article examines why the activism of the children of North African immigrants has not been noticed or recognized by elected officials of the Communist Party. Through historical and ethnographic study of a Communist municipality in the greater Paris region, the article first demonstrates that this militancy, far from being a new thing, is inscribed in the traditional forms of the militancy associated with the "banlieues rouges." In order to understand the urban activists' invisibility in politics, the author analyzes the negative representations of the group from which they come and the tensions between North African immigrants and local officials of the Left, tensions linked to urban renewal in the industrial suburbs. The detour through the history of the "red suburbs" thus reveals the structure of the tense relations between the Left and the housing projects, which seem to be disowned not only economically but also politically.
Richard Turner and South African Liberalism
between white critics of apartheid and black society had largely been severed. The only anti-apartheid option available in the white suburbs was a liberalism which blamed apartheid on the excesses of the Afrikaner Nationalist government and absolved
Thierry Baudouin and Michèle Collin
During the Fordist period, the state transformed the historic site of Les Halles,in the heart of Paris, into the agglomeration's chief mass transit gateway.Efforts to make the site into a veritable tool of social, cultural, and economicmetropolitan development are struggling because of governmental modalitiesthat remain very marked by centralism. A majority of citizens, notably thoseliving in suburban Paris, actively stake a claim to this metropolitan dimensionand to the rich possibilities of this tool. The article principally analyzes the territorializingpractices of suburban youths, whose multiple subjectivities arestill poorly integrated into the site. Les Halles thus reveals the question of thecorrespondence of these establishing metropolitan practices to the reality ofthe centralized institutions around Paris intramuros.
Teachers in the New High Schools of the Banlieues
Over the past twenty years, a silent revolution brought 70 percent of a generation to the baccalauréat level (up from 33 percent in 1986), without ensuring students corresponding job opportunities. Sociologists have analyzed the impact of this educational democratization, which sought to solve the economic crisis by adapting the younger members of the French workforce to the new economy of services: it has paradoxically accentuated the stigmatization of youths from working-class and immigrant families who live in suburban housing projects. Therefore, high school teachers have had to deal with students' profound disillusionment with education. Moreover, teachers have been central to all of the recent political controversies in France regarding cultural difference. While there are books, pamphlets, and memoirs reflecting their experiences, there is no research exploring the discrepancy between high school teachers' expectations and those of their predecessors. This article explores this discrepancy and its contribution to the social and political construction of the "problème des banlieues."
Philippe Vasset's Un livre blanc
the topographic map of Paris and its suburbs over a year and give voice to these “uncharted” territories: “For one year, I then undertook to explore the fifty or so blank areas showing on the map n°2314 OT of the National Geographic Institute, which
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.
Virtuous Racism and the War of the Sexes in Postcolonial France
Twentieth-century France invented for itself an "exception" that successfully preserved the French culture industry. Postcolonial France is experiencing another "French exception" that renders a "virtuous racism" commonplace and legitimates the discrimination that expresses this racism by identifying the undesirable "new French" as scapegoat figures. Four gender-specific stereotypes strengthen the belief that there is a form of sexism exclusive to the segregated neighborhoods of the suburbs that are inhabited primarily by French people of immigrant and colonial descent. Associated with the central figure of the garçon arabe are the beurette, the veiled Muslim French woman, and the secular Muslim. The article argues that the model of abstract, universalist France has become one of a fundamentalist republicanism that plays diverse expressions of otherness and singular identities off of one another in order to preserve a soft regime of oppression.
The Case of Kidz in da Hood (Förortsungar, 2006)
Anders Wilhelm Åberg
Swedish children's films frequently deal with issues of nation and ethnicity, specifically with “Swedishness”. This may be most obvious in films based on the works of Astrid Lindgren, which abound with nostalgic images of the national culture and landscape. However, films about contemporary Sweden, such as Kidz in da Hood (Förortsungar, 2006) address these issues too. Kidz in da Hood is about children in the ethnically diverse suburbs of Stockholm and it tells the story of a young fugitive, Amina, who is cared for by a young bohemian musician. It is, interestingly, a remake of one of the first Swedish children's films, Guttersnipes (Rännstensungar, 1944). In this article I argue that Kidz in da Hood is a contradictory piece, in the sense that it both celebrates and disavows “Swedishness”, as it substitutes the class conict of Guttersnipes for ethnic conflict.
Mary P. Corcoran, Jane Gray, and Michel Peillon
This article aims to demonstrate the significant role children play in new suburban communities, and in particular, the extent to which their circuits of sociability contribute to social cohesion in the suburbs. The discussion is located within the field of sociology of childhood, which argues that children are active agents who help to create and sustain social bonds within their neighborhoods. Drawing on focus group discussions and short essays by children on “The place where I live,” we paint a picture of how suburban life is interpreted and experienced from a child's perspective. We argue that children develop a particular suburban sensibility that structures their view of their estate, the wider neighborhood, and the metropolitan core. Although children express considerable degrees of satisfaction with suburban life, they are critical of the forces that increasingly limit their access to suburban public space.