[P6423] History and the Politics of Memory in North Africa
Created by Driss Maghraoui
Wednesday, 12/01/21 11:30 am
SUMMARY:This panel looks at the various intersections between history, memory, and politics in North Africa. States and politicians as well as individual groups mobilize memory and a selective remembrance of the past to instrumentalize it for the present. Whether in the form of scholarly production, museums, individual representations or in the context of a social uprising, memory plays an important role for the state and political elite or for subaltern groups, as conflicting interpretations of the past may be the reflections of different understandings and identities. The basic argument of this panel is that our understanding of the past as expressed in different histories and memories has eminent strategic, political, and moral dimensions. So, the “struggle” for North Africa’s past is simultaneously a struggle for the present.
The panel will seek to probe some of the following questions: How are narratives by official discourse, events and statements by public figures constructed to become part of national consciousness? Which narratives are forgotten, repressed or silenced? In addition to establishing the link between knowledge production about the past and different forms of politics, this panel proposes a complex and multilayered and interdisciplinary conception of the politics of memory. It intends to deal with a substantive and socially and historically situated content of memory as expressed by various actors within and outside of the formal settings of state institutions. In doing so, it also will shed some light on alternative channels and discourses through which conceptions about the past are expressed, negotiated, or silenced.