Lecture by Susan Slyomovics, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA
This presentation focuses on proposals in Benjamin Stora's report concerning a disputed monument, the famous Ottoman cannon known as “Baba Merzoug.” How does the Stora Report compare unfavorably with the prior 2018 Macron government-commissioned Sarr-Savoy Report that called for immediate restitution of sub-Saharan artifacts housed in French museums?
Cover image: “Baba Merzoug” of Algiers. Etching by Jan Luyken (1649-1712), 1698. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries, including the United States, and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or fewer.
You are welcome to watch the recording of Susan Slyomovics' lecture on "Commissioning Memorial Reconciliation: The Stora Report and Algeria’s Ottoman Cannon in France" here on our website or on our YouTube channel. An audio file and transcript of the talk are available further below. The webinar was hosted by UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies (CERS) on May 10, 2022 and co-sponsored by UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES).
On January 20, 2021, historian Benjamin Stora released his report, a Macron government-commissioned document intended to achieve a reconciliation of memories between France and Algeria. This presentation focuses on the report’s proposals concerning a disputed monument, the famous Ottoman cannon known as “Baba Merzoug.” Seized in July 1830, the month France invaded Algeria, and spoliated to Brest, France, it was transformed into a monument renamed ‘La Consulaire’. How does ‘statuomania’ animated by the erection of numerous war memorials operate in France? What is the symbolism of columns as memorializing monuments? How does the Stora Report compare unfavorably with the prior 2018 Macron government-commissioned Sarr-Savoy Report that called for immediate restitution of sub-Saharan artifacts housed in French museums?
Susan Slyomovics is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Her most recent book, coedited with Lorenzo Verancini, is Race Trace, and Place: Essays in Honour of Patrick Wolfe (Verso, 2022).
Audio File and Transcript
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