Paris 1961 Massacre in Popular Memory Week 13: Algeria II

In a recent conversation another scholar recalled how while studying for the French school exams, they were told not to study anything regarding Algeria - colonization, the war or the 1961 Paris massacre - because questions regarding the North African former French colony never appear on the test. What does this do for French collective memory? I posit however, that this is not the case for those who were colonized. Furthermore, it is through popular culture where social issues have a voice. In 1995, French rap group Supreme NTM came under fire from French authorities for speaking out against the racial injustices prevalent in France. Another rapper, M├ędine, of French-Algerian Kabyle descent, memorializes the 1961 Paris massacre in his song 17 Octobre:

French Algerians remember the 1961 massacre:

In 1995, rap group Supreme NTM came under fire for their incendiary, outspoken lyrics against the racial divide in France. Other rappers from former French colonies find themselves in a similar predicament. With the looming presedential elections, some citizens are finding these deep bass tinged lyrical protests as relevant today as they were a decade ago. Noisey Voice is one interesting commentary to consider. What say you?

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Sherri Cummings
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Created with images by Lauren Manning - "Passerelle Simone-de-Beauvoir"

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