Middle East Studies

Thinking Algeria at 60: Images from a Revolution

July 5, 2022, marked 60 years since Algeria's independence. In time for this anniversary, we wish to look at this history through the prism of photography and reflect on the construction of modern Algeria through the tensions and the potential avenues encapsulated in the terms "revolution," "independence," and "decolonization" in a visual conversation.

Photography Exhibit 

"Mohamed Kouaci: Vision(s) of Algeria" 

Curated by Adel Ben Bella, the photography exhibit centers on the work of Algerian photographer Mohamed Kouaci. Kouaci was one of the very few Algerian photographers to document the entire Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) on the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale) side as well as the first few years (1962-1965) of the new Algerian Nation. A self-taught practitioner born in Blida, Algeria, Kouaci was head of the photography service at the Information Ministry of the GPRA (Gouvernement Provisoire de la République Algérienne) as well as the sole photographer and photo editor of the FLN newspaper, El Moudjahid, from 1958 until 1962. Although unable to enter his country during most of the war due to the French colonial army’s sealing of Algeria's borders with Morocco and Tunisia starting in 1957, Kouaci’s work created a powerful and lasting vision of Algeria and the narrative of its revolution.

Film Screenings

"Film and the Algerian Revolution" co-curated and presented by Olivier Hadouchi, film curator and independent researcher Olivier Hadouchi. A short documentary and archival films from the time of the Algerian War of Independence


"Algeria, from Revolution to Independence: A Visual Inquiry

Watch the Webcast Part 1 
Welcome and introductions with Nadje Al-Ali and Adel Ben Bella
Adel Ben Bella and Safia Kouaci in conversatio
Djemaa Maazouzi - “Mohamed Kouaci et les temps de l’histoire: À des moments (photographiques) donnés”

Watch the Webcast Part 2 
Madeleine Dobie - “Images of Algeria, 1962-2022: the Stakes of Historical Comparison”

Watch the Webcast Part 3 
Adel Ben Bella and Meriem Merzouga in conversation
Ariella Aïsha Azoulay - “Celebrating Independence, Awaiting Decolonization​”
Rym Khene - “Revolution(s) in the Making: for a Potential History of Photography in Algeria”
Sophia Mo - “Three Women and a Critique of History as We Know It”
Mohamed Amer Meziane “Towards a Philosophy of Uprising: Algeria as a Point of View on Decolonization”

Visualizing Algeria, from Revolution to Independence: An Interview with curator Adel Ben Bella