Spatial Imaginaries and Cultural Public Spheres in Contemporary Algeria
Over the last two decades, as Algeria has recovered from the acute violence of the 1990s and reacted to the political upheavals of the 'Arabic spring,' many writers and film makers have explored a poetics of space, engaging with issues such as accelerating internal and external migration, the political and economic marginalization of the nation's South and the impact of real estate development on urban and exurban landscapes. Concurrently, journalists, publishers and other civil society actors have sought to establish physical and virtual spaces of encounter and exchange alongside those controlled by the state. This talk considers the intersection between the spatial imaginaries of literature and film and modes of social and cultural activism geared toward the creation of new public spheres. It asks how current practices of social and cultural activism relate to projects of political resistance and reflects on the relationship between the formal and representational economies of literature and film and the framing context of cultural production.