Onze dexil : Femmes en création (French Edition)

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  1. Les Bonnes Femmes () - IMDb
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By viewing some of these photographs and reading Alloula's analysis, students can visualize aspects of Algerian reality i. They can begin this task by problematizing in writing or orally Djebar's remark that, "Le talent novateur de Dela- croix peintre s'oppose au traditionalisme de l'homme Delacroix. Voir son image tres conservatrice de la femme Marc Garanger's albums of photographs-Femmes algiriennes and Algfrie Femmes des Hauts-Plateaux -provide a contrasting point of view to the Orientalizing visions mentioned above.

Taken during the war for the purpose of creating identity cards, Garanger's photographs remain as a testimony not to the power of the French but rather to the resistance of these women, who return the camera's eye with a glare of their own fig. They echo a major theme in Djebar's work: the role of Algerian women in fighting colonial domination. Memoire de Kabylie: scenes de la vie traditionnelle by Germaine Laoust-Chantreaux pre- sents yet another view.

Like Anne in "Femmes d'Alger," this French ethnographer regards Algerian women with a sympathetic gaze. Her por- traits of village women in their daily lives, working outdoors, provide con- trast to images of indolent city women enclosed in dark chambers. Teachers can move students toward truly critical analyses of Djebar's stories, the gaze, and their own ways of constructing meaning by engag- ing them in a pointed discussion about the differences between prose, This content downloaded from Malek Alloula.

The Colonial Harem.


Les Bonnes Femmes () - IMDb

By permission of the Univers This content downloaded from Idea n o , Figure Back cover and pag University of Minnesota Press. By perm Minnesota Press. Figure Marc Garanger. Femmes algiriennes By permission of the author. In doing so, students can learn a great deal about representation and about their own ways of seeing women and of seeing a culture that is unfamiliar to them. Music Assia Djebar's films are infused with the findings of research she con- ducted at the Institute of Musicology in Algiers. Her interest in music is also evident in her literary works.

A number of critics, including Anne Donadey, have remarked that Djebar's polyphonic narratives resemble This content downloaded from Musical themes run through her novel L'Amour, la fantasia. In Vaste est la prison, Djebar recalls her mother's interest in the form of the nouba, which exists in both music and poetry. The nouba can be "a classi- cal Arabo-Andalusian symphony dating originally from the ninth century Spanish court" Budig-Markin , note It is a "musical suite" with five movements: a prelude, an overture, four modes and a finale.

If in Femmes d'Alger Djebar pays homage to painters, in La Nouba the reference is to music: she dedicates the film to the Hungarian com- poser Be"la Bart6k who went to Algeria in to study folk music Bens- maia , note His Dance Suite no. With her use of prose, paintings and photography, Djebar focuses on the images that liberate women or hold them captive; by incorporating music, Djebar also undertakes the project of "restoring sound to this silent study of Orientalist imagery" Mortimer Femmes d'Alger evokes a world of women that has become "the world of autism," one in which "sound has truly been severed" Yet, close readings of the stories reveal numerous references to a more vocal past for women, espe- cially in song.

For example Sarah, in the first story, listens to "women's songs of times gone by" 23 , the haoufis of Tlemcen, funeral dirges by the women of an Laghouat oasis 23 , Meriem Fekei, a Jewish songstress of the s 29 , Andalusian song 24 , a flute solo 19 , and the "Old Man," one of the most popular singer of Algiers, accompanied by a lute Students can research each of these references and discover that the bold singers of yesteryear contrast with the vestiges of voice left to the Algerian women portrayed in the stories and artwork.

They will learn that the stifling atmosphere of the harem results, as Djebar insists, from women being "forbidden" a gaze of their own and from their voices being muted, even "severed. Recordings can provide examples of music produced by women. Djebar cites the work of her fellow Algerian writer and ethnomusicolo- gist Marguerite Taos Amrouche, who recorded the albums Algerie: chants berberes de Kabylie recorded in and Algerie voix de femmes distrib- uted in Recordings of Andalusian music by North African women are plentiful.

The famous Jewish singer Reinette L'Oranaise performed this music to enthusiastic audiences for many years. Her album Trisors de la musique arabo-andalouse provides a rich sample of her art. Alcantara This content downloaded from Album notes give background information on the music and provide the lyrics in the original languages and in translation.

There are numerous recordings by contemporary North African women singers. Djur Djura is named after a chain of mountains in the Algerian region of Kabylia. The women sing in Berber and occasionally in French, mixing traditional forms with contem- porary messages. Djura, the main vocalist, a filmmaker and an activist for women's rights, dedicates her music to "all women deprived of love, knowledge and freedom.

Aatabou is from Khemisset, aBerber area in the Atlas mountains. The album notes, as those for Voice of Silence, emphasize the singer's struggles to overcome sexism and patriarchy. Anthropologist Susan Schaefer Davis adds a brief analysis of the songs in the context of women in Moroccan society. For additional information on Algerian music, teachers can review Dwight Reynolds' article, "Music of Algeria: Selected Recordings"; it provides description and analysis of various types of Algerian music as well as a discography. After listening to selections of music, students can compare styles; they can discuss the emotions or thoughts that the music elicits in them.

They can choose a musical piece to corre- spond to each of Djebar's short stories. Listening to Algerian and other North African music, particularly by and about women, students can engage in written or oral explorations of Algerian women's voice as a metaphor for their resistance to all kinds of oppression. Students can parallel Djebar, a feminist historian, in attempt- ing to retrieve and re inscribe the oral histories of Algerian women. One assignment might ask them to consider the importance of women's roles in the Algerian war as they hear it in old and contemporary music, and then as Djebar presents it in several passages of "Femmes d'Alger," a story that opens with a nightmarish torture scene: "tote de jeune femme aux yeux bandIs, cou renvers6, cheveux tires" FA Like so many others, "femmes dehors sous la mitraille, voiles blancs que trouaient des taches de sang" FA 43 , Sarah, the young woman in the story endured imprisonment, torture, and perhaps rape.

Teachers can give students research to help them discover that Algerian women were This content downloaded from In , for example, a young girl named Messaouda risked her life by facing the enemy, in order to encourage her brothers to be valiant in battle FA During the war of independence, Algerian women carried bombs with them to the French quarter, under their veils or in baskets.

Students can return to the stories and listen to Djebar's "voice," which seems to ques- tion why contemporary Algerian women have forgotten those old exam- ples of courage: "Oii tes-vous," she asks, "les porteuses de bombes? By listening to and studying contemporary music, students can also question if in fact Algerian women today are rendered powerless.

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Films about women musicians can offer insight, as well. Brita Landoff's A Little for My Heart and a Little for My God: A Muslim Women's Orchestra is a documentary about an orchestra of meddahatts, Algerian itiner- ant female singers and musicians who perform for women at marriages, Ramadhan gatherings and circumcision feasts. Film It is fitting to study cinema in conjunction with Femmes d'Alger if for no other reason that that Djebar describes the stories as a "counterpart" to her first film Le Clezio Critics, as well as the author herself, have commented on the significant impact of the filmmaking experience on her literary work.

But there are many other reasons to incorporate films: an inextricable part of our increasingly multimedia-centered lives, mov- ies allow students and teachers to dissect the process of composing, so that they can apply what they have learned to the study of prose.

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Cinema creates a multifaceted experience by combining visual, verbal and other audio elements; this helps students form links with ideas, places, and cul- tures that may be foreign to them. The section below focuses on films by Djebar as well as films that illus- trate cultural and historical aspects of life in North Africa highlighted in her stories. It gained attention in Europe and was shown on Algerian television.

The film combines a fictional scenario with in- terviews of female relatives about their experiences during the Algerian war. Rdda Bensmaia characterizes La Nouba as a "difficult film" that demands This content downloaded from He writes about its "esthetic of the fragment," its open-endedness, its multiple quests. Several scholars discuss this film in detail Bensmala, Budig-Markin, Donadey, Huughe, Mortimer, Khannous ; their informative and critical articles are useful for teachers. Djebar's second film, La Zerda ou les chants de l'oubli3 , 57 minutes , is shot in black and white and uses official French newsreels from to along with a forceful text to document the Algerian people's resis- tance to authority and oppression under colonialism.

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Donadey's and Budig-Markin's articles offer useful comments on La Zerda. Students could discuss the similarities of Djebar's films to Femmes d'Alger in terms of structure and themes. They could reflect on Djebar's use of historical documents to retell a story, and on her treatment of visual and audio materials. They could assess what makes these films unique. Films can help to explore unfamiliar cultural concepts in Femmes d'Alger.

To give students a better idea of the atmosphere at the hammam or Turkish baths, described in "Femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement" , teachers can show excerpts from, or the entire film, Halfaouine, l'enfant des terrasses directed by the Tunisian Ferid Boughedir It is about a boy on the edge of adulthood who still goes with his mother to the women's baths.

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With careful selection and a discussion of the clips shown, teachers can avoid the risk of reinforcing voyeurism and stereo- types about North Africans with regard to sexuality. Various films comment on the role of women in Algeria's fight for independence. La Bataille d'Alger, Gillo Pontecorvo's classic made just four years after the War, offers an early critical perspective.

Clarisse Zimra evokes its depictions of women: The Battle of Algiers [ His Chronique des ann es de braises offers a dramatic look at the Algerian people's involve- ment with France from World War II up to the nationalist struggles just before the war. Even more relevant to Djebar's work is Mohammed Chouikh's film Youssef ou la Idgende du septibme dormant Like Djebar, Chouikh questions whether the so-called war of liberation really This content downloaded from Teachers can ask students to reflect on the degree to which these films reflect Djebar's ideas regarding women's history, social change, anticolo- nial struggle, etc.

The films can be compared to La Nouba and La Zerda. Students can also examine why some of these films have been more com- mercially successful than others including Djebar's. Moufida Tlatli's award-winning Les Silences du palais depicts the oppressive atmo- sphere for women in preindependence Tunisia. Students can be prompted to question why Tlatli's gaze received commercial success in Europe and the United States: what is it about the subject matter, the cinematography, the screenplay, the acting, etc.

What does this film have to say about women under colonialism, about women today? Other popular North African films dealing with women's issues include Boughedir's Un Eta i' la Goulette , where three young Tu- nisian women swear to lose their virginity. Excerpts pertinent to Femmes d'Alger include scenes of women grappling with whether or not to veil, and scenes of male voyeurism. Students can analyze the notion of the gaze in relation to the "forbidden gazes" in Djebar's short stories. It, too, reveals some of the conflicts for women in a system that continues to try to keep them unseen and unheard.

Kamel Dehane's film, also entitled Femmes d'Alger, depicts four women-a writer, a radio journalist, a former freedom fighter for Alge- rian independence, and a practicing Muslim seamstress-who speak about their life, male power, religion, and the future of their country. Films can help students make meaningful sense of specific cultural as- pects in the short stories. For example, references to the Muslim mourn- ing ritual, funerals, and the reading of the Koran appear in Djebar's stories "I1 n'y a pas d'exil," "Les Morts parlent," and "Jour de Rama- dhan.

The film's protagonist returns to Morocco to visit her dying father. Captivated by the sound of a woman chanting the Koran, she decides to seek feminism within Islam. Teachers can show this scene, or the entire film, and ask students to debate the issue of feminism and organized religion, drawing on the respective positions of Djebar and Ben Lyzaid.

An effective way to further nurture their appreciation for the interrelatedness of the arts in Djebar's work would be to assign a multimedia project centered on a theme of their choice. They could write a short story and collect or pro- duce artwork, music, and film to enhance the reading of the story.

The audiovisual components could be developed in high- or low-tech manner. A classmate could write an "afterword" that includes an analysis of the project and an interview with its creator. I have offered suggestions for exploiting a number of authentic materi- als in various media in order to teach Assia Djebar's Femmes d'Alger dans leur appartement with the richest possible cultural context.

Using the mul- timedia approach described above will help students gain an increased appreciation for Djebar's collection of short stories and for her interdisci- plinary work in the arts. Students will learn to draw connections between different art forms and to examine literary texts from an interdisciplinary perspective. They will become aware that creative works are not self- contained but rather products of multiple texts.

The versions most often available in the United States have English subtitles. It is useful to point out to students-or to get them to point out-the reasons North African films are in Arabic even though a number of literary works are produced in French. Le Harem colonial: images d'un sous-drotisme. Geneva: Slatkine, Introduction by Barbara Harlow. Bensmala, Reda. Budig-Markin, Valerie. Djebar, Assia. Chronique d'un etd algrien: ici et lt-bas. Photographs by Hughes de Wurstem- berger.

Paris: Plume, Paris: des femmes, Afterword by Clarisse Zimra. UP of Virginia, Women of Islam. London: Deutsch, Donadey, Anne. Freeman, Judi. Picasso and the Weeping Women. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Garanger, Marc. Femmes algeriennes Paris: Contrejour, Algerie Femmes des Hauts-Plateaux. Paris: La Boite a documents, Huughe, Laurence.

Khannous, Touria. Maureen N. Eke, Kenneth W. Morrow, and Emmanuel Yewah. Laoust-Chantreaux, Germaine. Memoire de Kabylie: scenes de la vie traditionnelle Aix- en-Provence: Edisud, Le Clezio, Marguerite. Mortimer, Mildred. Reynolds, Dwight. Thornton, Lynne. La Femme dans la peinture orientaliste. Paris: ACR, SWomen as Portrayed in Orientalist Painting. Courbevoie: ACR, Paintings Chasseriau, Theodore.

Tanen- baum collection, Toronto. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Constant, Benjamin. Harem Women. Around not dated. Private collection.

Dialogue d'écrivains

Dehodencq, Alfred. Marine juive au Maroc Between and undated. Musee Saint- Denis, Rheims. Delacroix, Eugene. SFemmes d'Alger dans leur appartement. Musee Fabre, Montpellier. Dinet, Etienne. Jeunes filles dansant et chantant. Union Mediterraneenne des Banques, Paris. Fromentin, Eugene. Encampement dans les montagnes Atlas. Walters Gallery, Baltimore. Pavy, Philippe. Arrivee d'une maride dans un village, Biskra.

Mathaf Gallery, London. Picasso, Pablo. Une Algerienne et son esclave. Vernet-Lecomte, Emile. Femme berbere. Audio Recordings Aatabou, Najat.


Country Girls and City Women. Rounder Records, Alaoui, Amina. Auvidis Ethnic, Djur Djura. Voice of Silence. Warner Brothers, Taos Amrouche, Marguerite. Algerie: chants berberes de Kabylie. Musiques du Monde, recorded Algerie voix defemmes. Blue Silver, Reinette L'Oranaise. She is extremely efficient, cool and collected in combat, striking with calm and accuracy whether she is using a gun, explosives or her bare hands.

Another part of her training is using her feminine wiles. Amande taught her charm, wit, connoisseur and grooming skills, innocence and anything necessary for manipulation and infiltration. Nikita was a street kid from a cinematically bad part of a big French town, part of a large gang of desperate addicts.

At one point, while heisting a drugstore to get drugs, they were caught by the police, and a very violent firefight ensued, during which the gang was wiped out. Nikita herself was the only survivor, but was facing years of prison as she had killed a cop trying to reach out toward her before being arrested.

They faked her death remade her into one of their elite killers. Nikita is a complex character, with several layers. She is, initially, a rough, crude street punk with a great instinct for violence and lashing back. That layer is what is used by the government to turn her into a hardened, professional, smart killer especially after her first few hits. However, she knows she is not free, less than a human being. Society, police and government have shaped her, control her every move and have completely re-engineered her life.

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At first this is only a role taught by Amande. However, as she truly, sincerely falls in love with Marco, her boyfriend, she discovers that what she truly wants in life has no relation with killing, order, police actions and discipline. She wants love and enjoying life has a normal, free woman, far from the State. She wants to be Marie.