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Colonial Trauma. A Study of the Psychic and Political Consequences of Colonial Oppression in Algeria. Edition No. 1. Critical South

  • ID: 5179131
  • Book
  • February 2021
  • Region: Algeria
  • 260 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Colonial Trauma is a path-breaking account of the psychological and political effects of colonial domination.  Following the work of Frantz Fanon in the 1950s, Lazali draws on historical materials as well as her own clinical experience as a practising psychoanalyst to shed new light on the ways in which the history of colonization leaves its traces on contemporary postcolonial selves.  

In her clinical practice, Lazali found that many of her patients experienced difficulties that can only be explained as the effects of ‘colonial trauma’ dating from the French colonization of Algeria and the postcolonial period.  Many French feel weighed down by a colonial history that they are aware of but which they have not experienced directly.  Many Algerians, on the other hand, are traumatized by the way that the French colonial state renamed the colonized Algerian and severed the links with community, history and genealogy.  The French state regarded Algeria as a territory with neither history nor culture; people were renamed or un-named, so that family members became strangers and links with the past were broken.  The systemic destruction of family and social connections contributed to feelings of loss, abandonment and injustice, feelings that were reinforced by the postcolonial state when it imposed new names on people and the land.  Only by reconstructing this history and uncovering its hidden consequences can we understand the impact of colonization on the inner lives of individuals and give them the tools to come to terms with their past.  

By demonstrating the power of psychoanalysis to shed light on the subjective dimension of colonial domination, this book will be of great interest to anyone concerned with the long-term consequences of colonization and its aftermath.
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Foreword – Mariana Wikinski
Introduction: The Trouble of Acknowledging Colonial Trauma
The History of French Colonization in Algeria: A Blank Space in Memory and Politics
A Much-Needed Interdisciplinary Approach

1. Psychoanalysis and Algerian Paradoxes
Disarray of the Private and Public Spheres
God’s Reinforcement of Failing Institutions 
The Power of Religion and the Religion of Power 
The Literary Text and the Invisible Staging of Power
The Power of the “Language, Religion and Politics”(LRP) Bloc as Revealed by Clinical Psychoanalysis
The Duplicity of Subjects Confronting Censorship from the LRP
Abandoned Citizenship and Speech Acts

2. Colonial Rupture
The Colony: The Rogue Child of the Enlightenment 
Colonialism’s Destruction of Social Cohesion 
A Colonial Republic Divided, or the “Duty to Civilize [the] Barbarians”
1945: A Literature of Refusal is Born
Nedjma: An Esthetic of Colonial Destruction?
Disrupting Genealogical Ties: The Effect of “Renaming” Algerians in the 1880s
Subjective Catastrophes and the Disappearance of the Father as Symbolic Reference
Writing against Anonymous Filiation
Jean El Mouhoub Amrouche: A Broken Voice

3. Colonialism Consumed by War
1945-1954: The Necessity of War
The Impossibility of Forgetting and Madness, a “Remedy” for Disappearance
Silencing the Unforgettable Mutilation of Bodies 
Toulouse, 2012: The Return of Murder
Constructing the “Nation”
The Writer’s Pressing Need: Transform Disappearance into Absence

4. Colonialism’s Devastating Effects on Post-Independence Algeria
The Mutilated Body of the Colonized and the Hunger for Reparation
Colonial Hogra and a Frantic Quest for Legitimacy
The “Orphaning” Effect of Colonialism and its Impact 
Further Distortion of Patronyms 
Divested of a Name: A Form of Colonial Murder
Manufacturing Erasure and Denial under Colonialism
From Colonial Trauma to Social Trauma

5. Fratricide: The Dark Side of the Political Order
The Emergence of Algerian Nationalist Movements in the 1930s
The War of Liberation and an Impossible Fraternity
From Parricide to Fratricide
When the Murders between Brothers is Dismissed…
Calling on the Father
A Gap in Memory Sets Off an Endless Deadly Battle

6. The Internal War of the 90s
Reconsidering the LRP Bloc (language, religion and politics)
The Tyranny and Pleasure of Power
The Shift of 1988 and the Experience of Political Plurality
An Internal War of Unprecedented Violence 
The Curse of Fratricide
The War Comes Home 
A Strange Reversal in Naming
Do Freedom and Terror Go Hand in Hand?

7. State of Terror and State Terror
A Clinical Understanding of Terror
The Terrified Subject’s Self-Elimination
Psychological Terror is always Political 
Reconciliation: State Terror?
When the State Tries to Make its Practice of Disappearance Disappear

8. Legitimacy, Fratricide and Power
Jugurtha: A Fratricidal Hero
Unpunished Crimes within the Republic
The Legitimacy the French Conquest Claimed for Itself
The Passion-filled Scene of Coloniality
The Specter of Discord: el Fitna

9. Getting Out of the Colonial Pact
After Liberation, the Indefatigable Reenactment of Coloniality within Subjectivities and the Political Order
Trauma as Shelter and Alibi
The Brutalization of the Living: the Disappearance of Children
The “Bone Seekers”: from the Child to the Fathers

Conclusion: Ending the Colonial Curse: Lessons from Fanon
The “Colonial Pact”: Erasure of Memory, Disappearance of Bodies, Dispossession of Existence
The Mystical Quality of the Colonized 
For a Future Liberation

Notes

Index
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Karima Lazali
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