PhD candidate in French and Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University
Sophia Mo is a PhD candidate in French and Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. Her dissertation, “Sisterhood in Translation: Gender, Nationalism, and Cross-colonial Solidarity in Algeria,” is a feminist intellectual history of Algeria’s War for Independence (1954-1962) and its first post-independence regime (1962-1965).
Sophia Mo starts with a reflection on a series of photographs that Mohamed Kouaci took of the freedom fighters Djamila Bouhired, Zohra Drif, and Baya Hocine in the aftermath of Algerian independence. Interweaving her commentary of these photographs with film stills from The Battle of Algiers (1966, dir. Gillo Pontecorvo) and Have You Ever Killed a Bear? Or Becoming Jamila (2014, dir. Marwa Arsanios), she proposes a feminist ethics of looking at and listening to archival materials.