Africa and France: Postcolonial Cultures, Migration, and Racism

Africa and France: Postcolonial Cultures, Migration, and Racism

Africa and France: Postcolonial Cultures, Migration, and Racism

Africa and France: Postcolonial Cultures, Migration, and Racism

Synopsis

This stimulating and insightful book reveals how increased control over immigration has changed cultural and social production in theater, literature, and even museum construction. Dominic Thomas's analysis unravels the complex cultural and political realities of long-standing mobility between Africa and Europe. Thomas questions the attempt to place strict limits on what it means to be French or European and offers a sense of what must happen to bring about a renewed sense of integration and global Frenchness.

Excerpt

Why is it that at a time when the globalization of financial markets,
cultural flows, and the melting pot of populations have engendered
greater unification of the world, France, and by extension Europe, remain
reluctant to think critically about the postcolony, namely the history
of its presence in the world and the history of the presence
of the world in France, before, during, and after Empire?

Achille Mbembe

an is di same ole cain and able sindrome
far more hainshent dan di fall of Rome
but in di new word hawdah a atrocity
is a brand new langwidge a barbarity

Linton Kwesi Johnson

On November 21, 2009, the front page of the French daily newspaper Le Monde included an entry—“Albert Camus au Panthéon?” (Albert Camus at the Pantheon?)—by the well-known political cartoonist Plantu. This image highlighted the complexity of former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s ambition of moving Camus’ remains to the great Panthéon mausoleum. In the cartoon, Sarkozy is standing behind a podium bearing a French flag and inscribed with the wording “Sarko-Malraux,” and singing “Entre ici l’étranger” (Come in foreigner/ outsider). This is an obvious reference to Camus’ most well-known novel L’ Étranger (1942). Indeed the cartoon reinforces an association further by the presence of a winged and airborne Camus holding a copy of his novel, the recognizable structure of the Panthéon in the background, and a police officer ordering a black man with the familiar “tu” (“Toi, tu rentres ici!” [Hey you, this . . .

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