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Absent the ArchiveCultural Traces of a Massacre in Paris, 17 October 1961$
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Lia Brozgal

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622386

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622386.001.0001

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“How Lucky Were the Blond Kabyles”

“How Lucky Were the Blond Kabyles”

Reading Race in the Anarchive

Chapter:
(p.213) Chapter Five “How Lucky Were the Blond Kabyles”
Source:
Absent the Archive
Author(s):

Lia Brozgal

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789622386.003.0006

Chapter 5 tackles the issues of race and racism as they relate to the October 17 massacre itself, the way it was documented in police archives, and the anarchive. When read for its representations of race and racism, the anarchive produces a transhistorical discourse that is as instructive in its moments of ambivalence as it is in its most pointed critiques. The chapter begins with a discussion of the difficulties of talking about race in a French context, and then goes on to excavate discourses of race and racism as they have been produced, implicitly or explicitly, in over 50 years’ worth of cultural productions, ranging from documentary and feature film to historical and graphic novels. In each section, cultural productions are read against their specific micro-historical context, conditions of publication or production, and other epiphenomena. At stake in reading race in the anarchive is a process of “race-ing” October 17, that is, of understanding the repression as not simply an inevitable skirmish in a war for independence, but as the fallout of a colonial ideology invested, tacitly but profoundly, in a racialized worldview.

Keywords:   Racism, Race talk, French universalism, Colonial Algeria, Passing, American fiction, Beur literature, Documentary film, Graphic novel

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