Many Arab intellectuals and literary elites, some of whom fought in the Algerian Liberation War, romanticize the Algerian Revolution. Arab poets, novelists, and intellectuals produced a sizable amount of literature during and after the revolution. But the French-Algerian conflict did not disappear with Algeria's independence in 1962 and continues to this day with tense relations ebbing and flowing, especially as the country commemorates its 60th anniversary of independence.
France’s rule over Algeria began in 1830 and ended with the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), spanning 132 years of French colonial domination whose legacy Algerians still feel today. Algeria remains present in the living memories of millions of French and Algerians, from the “Pieds-Noir” (French born in Algeria during colonial rule) and conscripts during the war to the Harkis (native Algerians who volunteered for the French army) and Algerian immigrants in France. Decades of silence and neglect strained relations between the two countries, with fluctuating levels of calm and tension. But as Algeria celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence, recent efforts to address the conflicts have inspired hope that Algeria and France can transform past wounds into a positive relationship on both sides, carving a new path forward.
Last year, French president Emmanuel Macron assigned historian Benjamin Stora, an Algerian modern history expert and academic, to compile a report on French colonialism during the Algerian war. In a joint effort, Algerian president Abdelmadjid Tebboune assigned Director of National Archives Abdelmajid Chikhi to coordinate with Stora in recording this history and addressing topics like Algeria’s ongoing struggle to secure its missing archives.
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