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The Persistence of the Image, the Lacunae of History: The Archive and Contemporary Art in Algeria (1992–2012)

The Persistence of the Image, the Lacunae of History: The Archive and Contemporary Art in Algeria (1992–2012)

Chapter:
(p.140) The Persistence of the Image, the Lacunae of History: The Archive and Contemporary Art in Algeria (1992–2012)
Source:
Algeria
Author(s):
Fanny GilletPatrick Crowley
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781786940216.003.0008

In Algeria , the War of Independence (1954-62) and civil war of the 1990s are the two events which have marked the history of the country due not only to the extent of the violence but also the ideological manipulation of both events. The anamnesis effect identified by academic analysis with respect to these conflicts is observed in the production of a generation of contemporary artists for whom memory, in its broadest sense, is no longer about an untouchable past but instead has become a means to construct, and be active in, the present in a way that is not overdetermined by a single notion of identity. In drawing upon the archive — such as film, documentary or photograph — contemporary Algerian artists such as Ammar Bouras, Mustapha Sedjal, Sofiane Zouggar, or Dalila Dalléas Bouzar bear witness to a ‘need for history’ which has to be situated both at a national and transnational level. If, for artists, the use of the archive is as much a mark of authenticity as a reminder of the collective memory, its reappropriation questions the role of the image in the construction of collective imaginary of the post-independent Algerian society. Based on interviews with the artists this chapter problematizes the process of a return to the archive.

Keywords:   Art, Archives, Ammar Bouras, Mustapha Sedjal, Sofiane Zouggar, Politics

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