This may seem unrelated to the previous entries but I just wanted to allude to the power early memories have to shape your sense of identity.

I realise that for the longest time, I have been trying to avoid any Pied-Noir flavoured emotion or even anything to do with Algeria, be it pre or post independence. I think that I was basically denying myself a past in order to fit with my present in France.

From the older generation of Pieds Noirs, my uncles, aunts and their friends I got a sense that we were different, but different in a way that honestly, I wasn’t sure I liked very much. No sense of being special except in a bad way.  I felt that I was part of a new class of unwanted citizens, frown upon, segregated, unwelcome and considered as outcasts. We were the living proof that France’s closed-minded and at times racist society was still alive and kicking.

Of course, as a child, I mainly suffered from the fact that I had a ridiculous accent for the Paris suburbs and that I was dark-skinned enough to be stopped by the police on a very regular basis in the Paris subway.

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Posted in Algeria, art, Diaspora, France, Identity, Pieds Noirs and tagged , , , , , , , .

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