la Nouvelle Generation

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Painting/ plastic Art / Drawing

Like in many other fields, the Algerian painting has got its own generation of artists. A generation marked by terrible years who tells and displays the algerian daily life throughout colour, drawing, image… A new generation who immortalises its feelings of revolt and incomprehension. They are numerous, some of them more famous, but each of them carries out the same ideal: a free Algeria.

The Essebaghine Group

The Group is composed of Meriam Ait El Hara, Kheira Slimani, Ammar Bouras, Joudet Gassouma, Noureddine Ferroukhi, Adlane Djeffal, Karim Sergoua and Hellal Zoubir. Its plastic creation is the result of this new generation. Through painting, photo-painting, video-painting or assembly, they display as much as diversities as ideas. At first, the group gained its identity through rebellion or, according to Karim and Djaouet, it is all about insolence, infrigement, questionning. Nourredine adds "what matters is to re-learn what freedom means within a group", showing their will to create together. They will also participate to the Year of Algeria in France through different exhibitions in South of France.

Ali Dilem - Interview English/French

Ali Dilem, who is a drawer and above all a cartoonist, Ali Dilem was born in El-Harrach near Algiers. Former student of the National Art School of Algiers, he plays a part in the daily Algerian life through his humorous drawings, which also reveal his mood, published in the newspaper Liberté. He earned the International Prize of Drawing in Written Press in 2000. He has also inspired the setting up of the Dilem amendments, which penalize any libel and insult towards the current government. Exasperated and excessive, Dilem uses his drawings to comment, in his own way, on the abuses and incoherence which torment the entire people .


Lakhdar Hamina

Both French and Algerian, born in Algeria in February 1934, all his films, directed or produced, are political. In 1956, during his military service in South of France, when he learned that his father had passed away, he joined the FLN. He became one of the leaders of the Aix-Marseille FLN, he deserted the army to join the ALN (National Liberation Army) in Tunisia. At that time and just before turning 23, he became film-maker, by chance. Indeed, the Algerian Resistance was looking for film directors for propaganda films. As he had a passion for cinema he enrolled and started his training. Nevertheless, he really learned his job when he was in Czechoslovakia for an improvement training. He produced astounding masterpieces such as "Vent de Sable" and "Le Vent des Aurès".

Mustapha Badie

Born in 1927 in the Casbah of Algiers, Arezki Berkouk, his real name, was one of the most gifted Algerian film directors of his period. He started his career when he was 18 years old at the ORTF, the French broadcasting as a co-director. After an experience with the Arab theatre group, he moved towards cinema. That is when he participated to the creation of new generation of Algerian film directors. He directed such films as " Nos mères ", " La nuit a peur du soleil ", " Essaher ", " l'Evasion de Hassan Terro ", and many others. Despite his celebrity, Mustapha Badie has always been close to the public at large. His movies mix up history with fiction. Different elements of dream, discovery and identification with the different characters can be found in his works.

Merzak Allouache

Born in 1944, Merzak Allouache, trained at the Algiers National Institute of Cinema then in Paris, drew attention with his first film Omar Gatlatou (1976), which is about the life of some young Algerians living in the slums of Algiers. Thanks to a new style, a refined humour, and the use of the Algerian dialect, he draws a portrait of the macho and archetype of the young Mediterranean man who cannot establish a normal relationship with a woman. Two other movies came out, Les Aventures d'un héros (1977), L'homme qui regardait les fenêtres (1982). He then moved to France where he directed his fourth feature film Un amour à Paris (1983). Merzak Allouache went back to Algeria in 1988 right after the October riots which put an end to the sole party governance. Merzak Allouache travelled along the country to get accounts on torture, interviews of political militants and to reveal women's claims as "plural and contradictory". Two documentaries display his works on civil society, L'Algérie en démocratie et Femmes en mouvement. In 1993, Merzak Allouache comes back to "fiction" with Bab El-Oued City, filmed in Algeria during a political crisis and edited in France.


Many names get distinguished throughout themes which deal with different social matters bound to daily life, and the will to go beyond taboos and change a literature too linked to the historical and religious character. Numerous Algerian writers are confronted to a problematics, which brings, however, a certain wealth and openmindedness to the Algerian literature, that is to write either in French, which has long been considered as the language of "the invader" and which is the dominant language, either in Arabic which is still linked to the reformist movement with religious tendency.

Abdelhamid Benhedouga

His works from 1959 to 1996, his poems, novels and short stories, which were translated into various languages, are part of the Algerian Arabic history and literature. From his first novel l'Algérie entre hier et aujourd'hui (1959) and his last collection of short stories, Blessures de la mémoire, written some months before his death, he wrote about the history of his country and his people. He declared: "Woman, land, tradition and modernity, authentiticy and openess, conflict of generations, link between town and countryside, emigration, liberation war, language problem, education problem, these are the essential themes, with the questions tthey raise that I have tried to tackle in my literary works." An unavoidable journey through Algerian history.

Rachid Boudjedra

Born on September 5 in 1941 in Ain Beida, Rachid has known difficult times. He went into exile in Tunisia first where he studied until he came back to Algeria after the independence. He then began philosophy studies and started teaching. When Boumédiène was elected President, he was banned and had to go into exile once again until 1974. From university to the Culture and Information Ministry, his fight for freedom of expression, has stayed the same. His literary career began in 1965 with a collection of poems "Pour ne plus rêver". Nevertheless, he is essentially known for his novels in which he describes the Algerian history and his own. "It is thanks to the weight you lay on the sheet of paper that you can get a sort of liberation from yourself. When you write you also proceed to a settling of scores, so that reality becomes harmless and evil is averted." La Répudiation (1969), l'Insolation (1972), Topographie idéale pour une agression caractérisée (1975), l'Escargot entêté (1977), les 1001 années de nostalgie (1979), le Vainqueur de la coupe (1981), Le Démantèlement (1982) are all novels that marked the beginning of his career and relate a difficult history with style of his own: violent, agressive and provocative. His literary works reflect, above all, the contradictions that endlessly tear the Algerian society apart.
Kateb Yacine

He was born on August, 6 1929 in Constantine. Poet, novelist and playwright, he is the author of Nedjma, published in 1956, the equivalent of L'Etranger of Camus. He has got an international stature and is the symbol of the denunciation of racism, women emancipation, claim for the recognition of popular literatures and spoken languages, and finally the defence of the liberty of expression and the restoration of historical truth (Algeria, Angola, Vietnam, Palestine…). He had the courage to ask the right questions a step ahead over his generation and to give a vision of the world.

Mouloud Feraoun

Born in 1913 in Tizi Hibel (Upper Kabilia), he is regarded as one of the greatest writers of the war of Algeria. He described life in Algeria during the colonial period. He also wrote about Berberian life, he is one of the pioneers of the movement for the defence of the Berber culture which started in the 1940's. His most famous novels are: Le fils du pauvre (1950), La terre et le sang (1953) and Les chemins qui montent (1957). He was assassinated by an OAS commando in 1962. The majority of his novels are translated into different languages: Russian, Arabic, German, Italian, Spanish, English….

Malek Haddad

Born in Constantine in 1927, he was a teacher and wrote in the newspapers "Alger Républicain" and "Liberté". His career as a writer started in 1958 until 1961. Among his well known novels: La dernière impression (1958), L'Elève et la leçon (1960) et Je t'offrirai une gazelle (1961). He was culture director at the Culture and Information Ministry in Algiers from 1968 to 1972. In 1974, he was appointed secretary of the New Algerian Writers Union. He died in 1978 in Algiers.

Mohammed Dib

May be regarded as the father of the Algerian contemporary novel. He was born in Tlemcen in 1920. He carried on several jobs, amongst which teacher and painter. He was expelled from Algiers in 1959 and moved in France. His first novel La grande maison was published in 1970, and was followed by L'Incendie and le Métier à tisser, his famous trilogy. He was a specialist of the surrealistic style but, due the context of the 1950's, he adopted realism. He earned the Great Prize of the French-speaking nations in 1994.

Female literature

Assia Djebbar

Her real name is Fatma Zohra Imalhayène, she is novelist and film-maker and wrote numerous novels, among which: La Soif, Femmes d'Alger dans leurs appartements, l'Amour, La Fantasia, Loin de Medine. She has always pleaded the feminine's cause, the Algerian woman and the Muslim woman in general. She earned the Prize of Peace awarded by a jury of German booksellers and publishers which was handed over by the President of the German Democratic Republic. She dedicated the Prize to Kateb Yacine and three writers who were assasinated during the black period of Algeria: Tahar Djaout (1954-1993), Youcef Sebti (1943-1993) and Abdelkader Alloula (1929-1994).

Leïla Sebbar

She was born in Algeria and has got both nationalities. Leïla Sebbar has written numerous novels and short stories such as Le Chinois vert d'Afrique (1984), Shérazade: 17 ans, brune et frisée (1984), Les Carnets de Shérazade (1985), Le fou de Shérazade (1991), Le silence des rives (Rabet Yacine Prize 1995)….She focuses her research on the 'good negroe' in the 18th century colonial literature and girls' education at the 19th century (published in Les Temps Modernes, 1973, 1976). She has also written fictions, the first ones being about immigration and slums.

Zhor Ounissi

Most famous Arab female writer, former Minister of the National Education, she tackles the main following themes: the Algerian family and its contradictory evolution. Indeed, she writes about family which is divided between tradition and modernity but does not, for all that, neglect the feminine cause. She has written: L'autre rive, Le trottoir endormi and Les vieilles de la lune, which mainly deal with themes related to the evolution of the society.

Zoulika Essaoudi

She wrote numerous short stories after the Independence on the Revolution, the colonization and its consequences. Her style changed to tackle more social themes such as woman, her evolution and the family's code, as well as more general themes such as problems linked to the evolution of the society. She published the following short stories: Aârdjouna, Derrière la colline, Qui est le héros. Two collections of short stories have been gathered but have never been published due to her tragic death.

Bibliographical links

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World INvestment NEws, 2002.
This is the electronic edition of the special country report on Algeria published in Far Eastern Economic REVIEW.
November 28th, 2002 Issue. Developed by AgenciaE.Tv