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Black October: comics, memory and cultural representations of 17 October 1961

Gorrara, Claire ORCID: 2018. Black October: comics, memory and cultural representations of 17 October 1961. French Politics, Culture and Society 36 (1) , pp. 128-147. 10.3167/fpcs.2018.360106

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The brutal police repression of the demonstration of 17 October 1961 stands as a stark reminder of the violence of French colonialism. A continuing official reluctance to acknowledge these traumatic events has led individuals and groups to seek alternative routes for recognition. This article explores one of these alternative routes: the comic book, and specifically Octobre Noir, a collaboration between writer Didier Daeninckx and graphic artist Mako. By analyzing the reframing of 17 October 1961 within the comic form, this article argues that Octobre noir offers a site for interrogating the relationship between history and memory. This is achieved by exchanging a cultural narrative of police brutality and Algerian victimization for a narrative of legitimate protest and Algerian political agency. Octobre noir exemplifies the value of the comic book as a vector of memory able to represent the past in ways that enrich historical analysis and inter disciplinary debate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
ISSN: 1537-6370
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 May 2017
Date of Acceptance: 2 May 2017
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 08:11

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