Prison Writing and the Algerian War of Independence

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This chapter explores the distinctive ties that arose between writing and political detention during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962), through a rich prison literature which associates prison life with the emergence of new forms of political memory and awareness. The chapter examines in particular depth the testimonial literature written by political prisoners detained at Barberousse-Serkadji, a prison whose momentous history parallels the colonial history of Algeria. The testimonies, memoirs, letters, poems, plays and novels describing political detention during this period shed light on the unique forms of political memory preserved in prison writing, and on the emancipatory role that writing itself can play in circumstances of extreme duress.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrison Writing and the Literary World
Subtitle of host publicationImprisonment, Institutionality and Questions of Literary Practice
EditorsMichelle Kelly, Claire Westall
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780367616236
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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