for Benjamin Stora, “there is no question of writing a common history”

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Macron entrusts historian Benjamin Stora with a mission on the Algerian war


Stora was instructed by Macron to “draw up a fair and precise inventory of the progress made in France on the memory of colonization and the Algerian war”.


French historian Benjamin Stora Credit: Ulf Andersen / Aurimages.


© Aurimages via AFP
French historian Benjamin Stora Credit: Ulf Andersen / Aurimages.


There is “no question of writing a common history of Algeria”, within the framework of the mission entrusted to it by the Elysee to promote Franco-Algerian reconciliation, French historian Benjamin Stora said Monday in an interview with an Algerian media.

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Stora has been uploaded by French President Emmanuel Macron to “draw up a fair and precise inventory of the progress accomplished in France on the memory of colonization and the Algerian war”. In a parallel process, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune appointed a specialist, Abdelmadjid Chikhi, director general of the Algerian archives, to carry out “truth” work on memorial issues between the two countries.

“Manage their memories”

“In the mission entrusted by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, I must submit a report taking stock of the history of relations between France and Algeria”, explains Benjamin Stora, in an interview with the French-speaking daily Le Soir from Algeria.

“It is not a question of writing a common history of Algeria, but of considering cultural actions on specific subjects, to be determined, such as for example the archives or the question of the disappeared”, underlines the historian. In a recent interview with AFP, Abdelmadjid Chikhi also considered that “it is not a question of writing history” but “of seeing how to bring the two countries to manage their memories”.

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In the same interview, Benjamin Stora, who has been criticized for having a “one-sided” view of the Algerian war, attributes the attacks to which he was subjected to the “heirs of the ultras of French Algeria who did not never accepted independence “. “The battle for the decolonization of imaginaries is a long-term endeavor,” he observes.

Born in 1950 in Constantine, Algeria, Benjamin Stora is one of the most renowned specialists in the history of Algeria, in particular the war (1954-1962) which led to the country’s independence.

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