Returns to the de/colonial archive: the photographic cultures of the Algerian war and their afterlives in contemporary art
The thesis explores the ways in which photographers and artists have engaged with photographic archives from colonial Algeria, with a focus on visualisations of conflict produced during the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62). The research aims to address key problems in archives understood as contested sites which delineate the ways in which history and memory can be transmitted. By tracing the ‘afterlives’ of selected war imagery in contemporary visual cultures, the thesis seeks to uncover the political, social and cultural motivations behind these resurfacings in close relation to shifting historical narratives in Algeria and in France. Selected case studies will open up larger questions surrounding the relationship between photography and the formation of national identities, and the role of images in challenging dominant historical narratives.