Ahmed Zakarya Mitiche

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Columbia U.

Grant number

Gr. 10529

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Mitiche, Ahmed (Columbia U.) "The Social Life of Memory: The Algerian revolution and the Black Decade in an Algiers Neighborhood"

This project examines the social life of memory in contemporary Algeria. I explore how the contested legacies of the Algerian Revolution (1954-1962) and the Dark Decade (1991-2002) (a period of fighting between the state and armed militants) emerge in an Algiers neighborhood. I investigate the ‘practices of recalling the past’ as they appear in community, such as traditions of historically inflected advice-giving that occur in intimate gatherings between older and younger generations, or in the work of the various neighborhood organizations that emerged in the aftermath of the ‘Hirak’ mass protest movement of 2019. I will primarily conduct my fieldwork in the historic neighborhood of Belouizdad in Algiers, site of major events during the revolution and the dark decade, where I anticipate living between July 2023 and June 2024. Through this investigation, I hope to understand the various temporalities’conceptions and ways of relating to time’ that underpin the ways that people recall the past. I ask what such temporal orders, emerging in the shadows of the state as they do, may teach us about the relationship between history, politics, and ethics, and what of our assumptions, they may challenge and open up.