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France: A War of Memory

French Congolese poet Alain Mabanckou posts some reflections by Abdourahman Waberi (Fr), a French Djiboutian writer, on the upcoming French presidential elections. Waberi had thought France had “finally woken up” to the concerns of its non-white citizens, but that from the banlieues to the overseas departments rage and resentment remain unadressed. “It is not surprising that many of the inhabitants of these places consider themselves (post)colonial subjects, culturally “Frenchified,” but oppressed by the dominant French culture,” Waberi says. “The risk of a war of memory is more real than ever. The body politic seems to be breaking into pieces: memory of those repatriated in Africa, memory of the loyalist Algerian soldier, memory of the Holocaust, memory of the sons and daughters of the descendants of slaves. A litany of past crimes.”

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