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Women in the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1994): experiences, testemonies, rights

Grant number: 21/08157-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2022
Effective date (End): November 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Principal Investigator:Raquel Gryszczenko Alves Gomes
Grantee:Bruna Perrotti
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The Algerian War of Independence, or the Algerian Revolution, is a landmark in the 20th century contemporary history. After unsuccessfully seeking diplomatic and legal solutions to guarantee better living conditions, rights and autonomy, the armed resistance emerges as a solution for the independence forces - the participation of women took place from the beginning of the conflicts. The purpose of this research is to revisit the history of participation of women in the Algerian War of Independence through their own testimonies, investigating how the process of re-accessing the memory of participation in the war from the female perspective, has opened possibilities for women's claim of rights. At the revolutionary press, we follow the trajectory of the historian and novelist Assia Djebar, who gathers testimonies of women combatants and refugees from the war between 1958 and 1959. Despite the critics that advocated the unity of the movement, Djebar has not failed to affirm, since that moment, the rights of Algerian women. Here, in addition to her column in the newspaper El Moudjahid (1959), we will analyse her second war novel Les Alouettes Naives (1967), inspired by the testimonies collected. In the courts of Algiers and Paris, we will follow the notorious case of Djamila Boupacha (1962), through her testimony that bears her name as its title. The militant sued the French colonial state, cradle of The Rights of Men, which was now resorting to torture to extract confessions. Finally, we propose an analysis of the work Des femmes dans la guerre d'Agérie (1994) which brings thirty interviews collected by Djamila Amrane. At a time when the rights of women in the post-colonial state are at stake, the former combatant and historian claims, based on testimonies crossed with statistics, a greater participation of women in conflicts than that recognized until then. (AU)

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