Maison Française d’Oxford, 2-10 Norham Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 6SE
Doing History Differently: ‘Generation Independence. Algeria, a people’s history’
Speakers: Walid Benkhaled (Portsmouth), Toufik Douib (London), Natalya Vince (Portsmouth)
Discussant: James McDougall (Oxford)
Convenor: Andrea Brazzoduro (Venice/MFO)
“Generation Independence: A People’s History” is a work-in-progress project which explores creative ways to make Algerian post-independence histories visible and audible to wider audiences, in a context where Algerian public history continues to be dominated by retellings of the colonial and anti-colonial nationalist past and where the international lens remains focused on the civil violence of the 1990s. The project aims to bring together younger and older generations in the creation and consumption of multilingual, multimedia, open-access sources about the 1960s and 1970s. At its heart is a series of eighteen 20-minute documentary portraits in which Algerian women and men talk about the 1960s and 1970s, with their words interwoven with photographs and documents from their personal archives. Subtitled in Arabic, French and English, and available online as an openaccess source, the series seeks to prompt an intergenerational conversation about a period in Algerian history which has been marginalised. More broadly, the project seeks to be part of ongoing discussions about how engaging user communities at the start, rather than the end, of the research process can put their questions and concerns at the centre of the research design and increase the potential for the research to have a wider social impact, beyond the community of researchers.