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Stories at War: Images of Algerian Women From Colonial Accounts to the Life Story of Fadhma Amrouche

Author:

Zahia Smail Salhi

University of Manchester, UK, GB
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Abstract

This article aims to discuss and analyse a wide array of stories produced in nineteenth century French Algeria and told by different actors about native Algerian women. While some of these stories were written as true-to-life war testimonies about Algerian women told from multifarious angles and perspectives, others were produced in the form of phantasmagorical image-stories about native women as told by Orientalist artists and colonialist photographers. Moving away from these colonial male narratives, the article discusses in juxtaposition the story of the women of Algeria as told by French feminist Hubertine Auclert in her book Les Femmes arabes en Algérie, and a counter story to hers written by Fadhma Aït Mansour Amrouche, as the story of her life, Histoire de ma vie. Bringing these two contrasting sets of stories into discussion and scrutiny will enable us to evaluate the extent to which native women were central to the French conquest and to the French feminists’ agenda of ‘saving them’ from their barbaric people and ways of life. The article aims to discuss the intricacies of such missions and assess the extent to which native Algerian women were saved by their colonisers.

How to Cite: Salhi, Z.S., 2021. Stories at War: Images of Algerian Women From Colonial Accounts to the Life Story of Fadhma Amrouche. New Area Studies, 2(1), pp.139–184.
Published on 12 Nov 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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