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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Algérie – France : Laurent Fabius à Alger pour deux jours de visite officielle | – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique

Algérie – France : Laurent Fabius à Alger pour deux jours de visite officielle | – le premier site d’information et d’actualité sur l’Afrique.

une normalisation des relations entre la France et l’Algérie.  Il est enfin question d’amitié entre les deux pays en des termes qui dépassent le simple communiqué politique de rigueur et font preuve d’une réelle sincérité.

A mettre en parallèle avec:

Autre article très intéressant et très mesuré qui, à juste titre, loue les mérites d’une exposition qui recherche l’honnêteté.   Elle montre que l’importance de toute vérité est de permettre de construire l’avenir sur des bases saines en tenant compte d’une multitude de points de vues afin de retracer la complexité historique de cette époque.

je ne veux pas formuler de conclusion béatement optimiste mais il me semble que les relations franco-Algériennes sortent de l’immobilisme.


Bien sûr, il est un peu triste que l’Algérie puisse être considérée comme “l’ennemi” par quelques irréductibles (dans le deuxième article) mais cela montre simplement qu’il y a de grans mouvements en avant et des combats d’arrière garde

A while ago, I found this text on a blog.  Because I copied it on a piece of paper in a very old fashioned way and didn’t save anything on my computer, I am unable to acknowledge ownership but it struck me as being so true, I need to copy it again and share it.

“For a refugee there is a very big contradiction, or at least in my case, which is, I don’t want to be here, I want to be in my country.  And a lot of time is spent thinking about this: I am going back, I am going back, and they don’t create the conditions in which to adapt; so it’s a struggle that sometimes lasts for many years.  And the people who have already adapted usually say: “forget about it, this is your country, this is your new home, your new residency is this one”   But psychologically, this is difficult.  One doesn’t want to renounce their past.  One doesn’t want to renounce their homeland or want to accept the reality.  One always want to consider that asylum/exile is a temporary condition.

if I remember well these are the words of a South american exile in London but they brought back memories of these long, long Sunday lunches from my childhood where all the adults endlessly reminisced about “life over there”, as it was in the golden days of their lives.  The same unwillingness to renounce  the past, the homeland or accept reality!  With a difference though, they claimed that this France that didn’t really want them, that they didn’t really like,  was their country and the reason why thy had to abandon they land .  No wonder that with such a “muddled” predicament, peace of mind has not been reached yet.