Sign in or register
for additional privileges

“We Are All Children of Algeria”

Visuality and Countervisuality 1954-2011

Nicholas Mirzoeff, Author
Previous page on path     Next page on path

Other paths that intersect here:

You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.

We Are All Children of Algeria

What does it mean to use the title "We are all children of Algeria?"

In French and Francophone demonstrations, especially since World War II, it has been common to chant slogans as a form of solidarity. Typically, the expression "We are all" was used to express a form of solidarity. When the student leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit was being attacked in 1968 by the right-wing for his German-Jewish background (in a manner unthinkable today, it might be added), the student slogan in response was "We are all German Jews," as in the poster below, featuring Cohn-Bendit:

When I was a graduate student in the 1980s in Paris, the main issue of the time was racism and the rise of the National Front. The organization SOS Racisme was formed in 1983 and, in1984, a series of major public events were held against the neo-fascism of the Front. On such demonstrations, the slogan used was "We are all children of immigrants."

In this anti-fascist spirit of international solidarity, this demonstration has as its slogan "We are all children of Algeria." That is not to say that somehow we are all African, or descended from Africans, or any other such platitude. Rather, in the moment of political decision- making, we stand with the multiple Algerias formed by the successive historical dramas of colonization, the war of independence, the civil war and the Arab Spring. Since the revolutions of 2011, especially that in Algeria's neighbor, Tunisia, and the regional power, Egypt, this is no empty phrase but a commitment to a networked revolution.

And even more, we stand with the children of Algeria, in the literal and metaphorical senses. For the population of Algeria and other countries in North Africa and the Middle East is disproportionately young, unlike the greying nations of Western Europe and North America. The children of all these "Algerias" are the collective future.
Join this page's discussion (1 comment)

Discussion of "We Are All Children of Algeria"

We are all Germans and Jews?

My French is rudimentary, but does that translate as "We are all German Jews" or "We are all Germans and Jews?" The latter, more literal translation has an added dimension to it.

Posted on 19 July 2013, 11:03 am by Andrew  |  Permalink

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Revolutionary interface, page 1 of 5 Next page on path