Le Monde newspaper recently depublished an opinion article about Algeria that had attracted the ire of President Emmanuel Macron. As Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux says in this analysis piece, this was not a one-off example of the Élysée confusing journalism with public relations. As he explains, a number of academics, politicians and journalists are concerned about the way the presidency appears to be systematically equating the two.
French President Emmanuel Macron began a three-day visit to Algeria on Thursday, which his office said was to 'lay a foundation to rebuild and develop' the often frought relations between the two countries, while analysts say that Macron will press for an increase in Algerian gas exports.
In her first novel 'Nos silences sont immenses' ('Our silences are immense') former French teacher Sarah Ghoula delves back into a time when Algeria was still a French colony. Set on the edge of the desert, it tells the story of a gifted young healer. One of the themes of the book is the handing down of knowledge and stories, and the author – who was educated in and taught in France but whose family comes from rural Algeria - uses myths and legends from oral storytelling as she describes the struggle to preserve those traditions. Faïza Zerouala reviews this poetic debut novel and speaks to the author.
In 1964 around 60 Harki families – the Algerians who had fought on France's side in the recently-ended Algerian War of Independence – were shunted off to a housing estate at Lodève in the south of France. The women from the families, all skilled weavers, were put to work in what was to become a small offshoot factory for the manufacture of high-quality rugs and carpets in Paris, and in a bid to revive the local textile industry. But as Prisca Borrel reports, the shadow of French colonial attitudes in Algeria was to loom over this initiative for years to come.
Since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011 several thousand Syrians have taken refuge in Algeria. But in recent years a number of them have been trying to make the often perilous sea crossing from the Algerian coast to Europe. Some have been ripped off by unscrupulous traffickers; others have paid the ultimate price and perished at sea. Nejma Brahim reports from the Algerian port of Oran.
Last weekend marked the 60th anniversary of the Évian Accords which brought an end to the bloody Algerian War and paved the way for that country's independence from France. But for many ordinary Algerians their memory of that period is still dominated by the violence perpetrated at the time by the armed French group that was virulently opposed to granting Algeria's independence, the Organisation Armée Secrète or OAS. Nejma Brahim visited Oran on the north-west coast of Algeria where an OAS car bomb killed scores of people on February 28th 1962.
More than all other the former European imperial powers, France continues to be profoundly shaped by the issue of colonialism, which both determines its relations with the world and fashions how it sees itself. In this article written for the latest issue of the 'Revue du crieur', Mediapart's publishing editor Edwy Plenel looks at France's continuing relationship with its colonial past, a subject often suppressed by its political elites on both the Right and Left. He argues that the country's continuing reluctance to confront its imperial history has made it blind to its multiculturalism and diversity and has encouraged the renaissance of neo-fascism.
Macron told relatives and activists on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the bloodshed that "crimes" were committed on the night of 17 October, 1961, under the command of Paris police chief Maurice Papon.
The call follows a row over visas and critical comments from Paris about the North African country; last weekend, Algeria recalled its ambassador from Paris and banned French military planes from its airspace.
A letter signed by 23 retired French generals, who warn that the military might have to “intervene” in a “civil war” because of a failure by the French state to crack down on “Islamists”, has caused a political row. Defence minister Florence Parly has warned of “consequences” for any active soldiers on the list of signatories, which includes scores of other senior ranks. Meanwhile Marine Le Pen, the president of the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party, has given the retired generals her support. As Lucie Delaporte reports, her backing for such views is a stark reminder of what the RN really stands for, after a decade in which Le Pen has sought to soften the party's image.