2434 Chapters
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Introduction: The Creation of a Colonial Culture in France, from the Colonial Era to the “Memory Wars”

NoContributor Indiana University Press ePub

The Creation of a Colonial Culture in France, from the Colonial Era to the “Memory Wars”

Pascal Blanchard, Sandrine Lemaire,
Nicolas Bancel, and Dominic Thomas

The present collection is the fruit of an inquiry that began in the early 1990s and that sought to better elucidate certain aspects of France’s contemporary history. The weight of colonial imaginary, discernible in the production of a colonial iconicity, in colonial cinema, and in the intertextual articulations of images/ discourse, called for improved contextualization, as did those mechanisms associated with the construction of different paradigms with respect to the Other in the context of a burgeoning imperialism.1 Initial research was conducted on the subject of “human zoos,” and then shortly thereafter we began evaluating the importance of colonial expositions and world fairs that were held in France and abroad.2 We also sought to better understand the relationship between immigration to the metropole from the “global South” and the colonial phenomenon itself over a longer historical period that included both the colonial and postcolonial periods. In turn, we found ourselves compelled to investigate even more complex, yet related, processes, such as French Republican identity.

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Part 1. The Creation of a Colonial Culture

NoContributor Indiana University Press ePub

PART 1

THE CREATION OF
A
COLONIAL CULTURE

French Colonization: An Inaudible History

Marc Ferro

This foreword is based on a 2005 interview conducted with the historian Marc Ferro, a specialist on the issue of colonization and the reception of this past in French society, namely in books such as L’Histoire des colonisations (1994), Les tabous de l’Histoire (2002), and Le Livre noir du colonialisme (2003).1 He has described the current situation—a situation in which the French public has turned its back on the work of historians—as a form of “self-censorship by citizens,” paired with a “censorship by the governing authorities.” This sort of postcolonial posture, which characterizes France at the beginning of the twenty-first century, cannot and does not want to accept that “the Republic betrayed its core values” because to do so would be to question the “Republic” itself.

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2. Colonial Occupation and Development in the West Bank and Gaza: Understanding the Palestinian Economy through the Work of Yusif Sayigh

NoContributor Indiana University Press ePub

 

Understanding the Palestinian Economy through the Work of Yusif Sayigh

LEILA FARSAKH

The Oslo peace process initiated in 1993 brought hopes for the emergence of a vibrant economy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (WBGS), one that would provide a solid foundation for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. Yet Palestinian economic growth since 1993 has been marked by major fluctuations and unsustainability. Palestinian real GDP per capita income in the West Bank and Gaza in 2007 was 30 percent lower than in 1999. Poverty touched 49 percent of Gaza and 25 percent of the West Bank in 2007.1 The 2008–2009 Israeli war on Gaza destroyed whatever remained of Palestinian economic activity there, demolishing major social and economic infrastructure at a total estimated cost of $1.4 billion. The siege imposed on it since 2006 further severed its links to the West Bank, putting in jeopardy the unity of the Palestinian economy. Although real GDP grew by over 5 percent in the West Bank and by more than 9 percent in the Gaza Strip from 2009 to 2012, it was mainly fueled by international assistance, which amounted to over 20 percent of GDP.2 Poverty rates still stood at 33.7 percent in the Gaza Strip in 2010, where over 71 percent of the population receives some form of aid.3 The Israeli war on Gaza in November 2012 further proved the unsustainability of growth in the Occupied Territories.

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1. The Zionist Colonization of Palestine in the Context of Comparative Settler Colonialism

NoContributor Indiana University Press ePub

 

GABRIEL PITERBERG

To deeply understand Zionism and the state of Israel, one must engage with the field of comparative settler colonialism. The expansion and conquest by Europe that began in 1500 produced two kinds of related but clearly distinguishable forms of colonialism. One was metropole colonialism, in which Europeans conquered and ruled vast territories but administered and exploited them without seeking to make them their home; British India is a good example. The other type was settler colonialism, in which the conquest by European states brought with it substantial waves of settlers who with the passage of time sought to make the colonies their national patrimony. This process entailed a relationship with the indigenous people that ranged from dispossession to elimination, or from slavery to cheap labor, depending on the land and labor formations of a given settler society. Settler colonialism can be said to have begun in earnest with the English—and later Scottish-Presbyterian—settlers in Ireland in the second half of the sixteenth century, and continued with the settler colonies in what would become Virginia and New England in the seventeenth century. It is within the burgeoning field of comparative settler colonialism that I seek to place the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the state of Israel.1

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5. Before Gaza, After Gaza: Examining the New Reality in Israel

NoContributor Indiana University Press ePub

 

Examining the New Reality in Israel/Palestine

SARA ROY

In the nineteen years since the Oslo process began, Palestinians have suffered losses not seen since the beginning of Israeli occupation and arguably since the Nakba, the losses of 1948. The scholar Joseph Massad has compellingly argued that it is wrong to think of the Nakba as “a history of the past”; rather, it is “a history of the present,” a historical epoch that remains a living, ongoing reality without end.1 Yet, what has changed is the conceptualization of loss itself, which has assumed altogether new dimensions. For now it is less a matter of defining losses that demand redress than of living in an altered, indistinguishable, and indeterminate reality in which those losses have no place, no history, and no context, where reclamation is, in effect, meaningless, without purpose or justification. This altered reality has been shaped and defined over the last few years by certain critical paradigmatic shifts in the way the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is conceptualized, understood, and addressed. I will touch upon some of these shifts, ending with a brief reflection on the changing socioeconomic reality in Gaza.

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