Memory Balloons: Algerian Comic Strips and Franco-Algerian Memory

CGS Brown Bag Lecture Series
Mar 26, 2014
01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
124 Sparks

Sandra Rousseau, Penn State

Soon after the end of the Algerian war and the birth of Algeria as a nation-state, the Algerian cultural scene bloomed.  The comic strip magazine M’Quidech published between 1960 and 1972 in both French and Arabic is a good illustration of the new art forms embraced by Algerian artists to define and display their creativity. Inspired by the events of the Algerian war and of the hundred and thirty years of colonization M’Quidech’s creators found a modern and popular media to draw not only  their memory of Franco-Algerian relations but also to set for themselves the stereotypes of Algeria and its people. I analyze how the many comic motifs displayed in M’Quidèch redefine Algeria and its relations to France taking into account the socio-political complexities which appeared as both countries were adjusting to their new ‘postcolonial’ reality.

Sandra Rousseau is a doctoral student in the department of French and Francophone studies. Her dissertation entitled “Memory’s Laughter: Franco-Algerian Relations through Humor (1954-2012)” examines how art forms such as theater, cartoons, comic strip or performances have relied on comic motifs to deal with the  traumas of Franco-Algerian relationships.  The research for her dissertation has been supported by two grants from the Center for Global Studies, Naomi A. Fischer Dissertation Enhancement Award in the College of the Liberal Arts. Her research interests include contemporary France, memory of wars, humor and popular culture.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Graduate Lecture Series which focuses on interdisciplinary graduate research.

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