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Contesting ViewsThe Visual Economy of France and Algeria$
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Edward Welch and Joseph McGonagle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318849

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318849.001.0001

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Out of the Shadows: The Visual Career of 17 October 1961

Out of the Shadows: The Visual Career of 17 October 1961

(p.65) 3 Out of the Shadows: The Visual Career of 17 October 1961
Contesting Views

Edward Welch

Joseph McGonagle

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the visualisation of what has increasingly been positioned as one of the most notorious episodes of the Algerian War: the events of 17 October 1961. Having been expelled from French collective memory for two decades or more, the details of this massacre have gradually been disinterred by a number of historians and memory activists. While our understanding of it has now progressed thanks to historians such as Jean-Luc Einaudi (1991) and Jim House and Neil McMaster (2006), proper attention remains to be paid to its visual representation. Drawing on notions of ‘grievability’ (Butler 2004 and 2009), ‘competitive memory’ (Rothberg 2009) and the ‘civil contract’ of photography (Azoulay 2008), this chapter explores how the iconography of the events shapes understanding and mobilises responses to them, and how its meaning and significance change as 17 October 1961 is revalorised in the 1980s and 1990s and the victims of police repression gradually become more ‘grievable’.

Keywords:   Photography, Memory, Circulation, Victimhood, Algerian War, Violence

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