Echoes of French colonialism: the Harki weavers from Algeria sent to make carpets

France — Report

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.

Macron asks Harkis to 'pardon' France and opens door to compensation


French President Emmanuel Macron has announced his government will soon present draft legislation to allow for the payment of compensation to the Harki community, in recognition of “the dereliction” of the French state’s duty towards them. The Harkis were the Algerian paramilitary who fought under the orders of the French army during the Algerian War of Independence. About 90,000 of the auxiliaries and family members fled to France to escape imprisonment and executions after Algeria gained independence in 1962. More than half of them were kept for decades in camps in dire conditions, abandoned by successive governments. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.  

Macron honours Algerians who fought for colonial France

International — Link

President Emmanuel Macron has announced the bestowing of national honours to members of the community known as the Harkis, the Algerians who fought alongside the French army in the North African country's bloody war of independence, in his continuing bid to soften the still bitter divisions of left over from the Algerian war. 

Algerians angry at France over Macron comment

International — Link

Tweet by French president hinted that Harkis - who fought on France's side in War of Independence - should be welcomed back to Algeria.

The Vichy deportation camp that is a 'permanent stain' on France

France — Interview

A senior figure in the Socialist Party has angrily criticised French culture minister Aurélie Filippetti for allegedly snubbing Rivesaltes, a former internment and deportation camp in southern France which is set to become a memorial in 2015, during a recent trip to the area. The culture minister has dismissed the claims as 'absurd'. To understand the importance of the memorial site behind this political squabble, Mediapart asked historian Denis Peschanski to describe the political and historical issues at stake in a camp that revives some of the worst memories of the Second World War in France. Antoine Perraud reports.