The Colonial Predicament of Colonized Bodies
- 03.02.2022, 6.30 p.m.free, via Zoom
Any of the Arab-looking girls in some postcards sent from Algeria in the early 20th century, could have been my ancestor. The photographs I have of my grandmother in Algeria show her already as a French-looking woman, a Jewish Arab who has learned the lesson of Frenchness. And where did my great-great grandmother, who was a native Algerian disappear to? This lesson of standardization and eradication has a name in French: laïcité (secularism). Part of solving the “Jewish question” in Europe required the refashioning of Jews as secular Europeans before they could go in public. With the French conquest of Algeria, the Jews were singled out from the Arabs and were made into a “problem,” forced to get rid of what identified them as indigenous, so that a few decades later the colonial regime could reward them for their efforts with the gift of French citizenship. The lecture will explore some aspects of the colonial predicament of the decolonization of bodies.
The event takes place as live stream on Zoom. No registration needed.
Meeting-ID: 821 9266 1889