Still from ‘Battle of Algiers’ (1966).
“The Algerian revolution against French settler colonialism, which marks its anniversary today, March 19th, stands as one of the most iconic victories for Third World liberation. In the furnace of the brutal, seven-year-long struggle, Franz Fanon forged The Wretched of the Earth. The Front de Libération Nationale’s (FLN), victory was remarkable not only because of the brutality of the French settler colonial project but because, although splits within the FLN certainly existed, there was a general consensus that political independence was not the end of the revolutionary process. The next stage was to transform Algerian society and reverse what the FLN understood as the economic and social backwardness caused by colonial exploitation, through a sweeping project of nationalization, centralization, and planning. The experience of Algeria’s revolution then, serves as a powerful example of both the achievements and failures of a revolutionary program put into practice with state power and massive natural resource wealth. …”
Africa Is a Country
The role of women in the Algerian independence movement
“Algerian women bravely waged a battle against colonialism and patriarchy. Today, their legacy continues to inspire a new generation in the struggle for justice. On a late September afternoon in 1956, a young woman entered an Algiers cafe popular with European youth. She appeared like an ordinary French-Algerian, but in reality she was a revolutionary Algerian Muslim: Zohra Drif. Drif would be one of three Algerian women involved in a series of terror attacks at the height of the guerilla insurgency against French occupation. That campaign was later popularised by Gillo Pontecorvo’s iconic 1966 film The Battle of Algiers, which dramatised Algeria’s independence struggle (1954-1962). In an act of revolutionary masquerade, the film depicted how women subverted the colonial lens of gender: using their veils to hide messages, money and weapons, and donning western dress as they entered the French quarters and deposited explosives. …”
Women of the Algerian Resistance