Rachel Donadio: What do you think happens next in Algeria?
Kamel Daoud: It’s hard to know what will happen, because for the moment, the regime isn’t doing much and is trying to buy time. But on the other hand, the Algerians are keeping up the pressure. There are still bigger and bigger demonstrations. For now there’s status quo. The regime is going to try to anticipate things by saying they’ll change the government and carry out reforms and start a national dialogue.
But I think this is the usual strategy that dictatorships turn to when they’re forced to. They try to start a dialogue and reforms, which is what I’d call the first phase. That’s what’s happening now in Algeria. I think the regime pushed Algerians’ sense of humiliation too far. We reached a point of electing a photo, which Algerians can’t tolerate.
There’s an even deeper force: demographics. Half of the Algerian population is under 30. The entire regime is old. The people of the regime are all 85 years old, and sooner or later this generational rupture was bound to cause a crisis. I also think that the generation of the decolonizers has come to an end all over Africa, but it arrived quite late in Algeria. And that was going to have consequences sooner or later.
Donadio: So is this moment of transition also important as a sign of how anti-colonialism has become less strong of a force in Algeria?
Daoud: Yes. For several years now, I’ve tried to write about how to get out of the post-colonial mentality. A lot of people reproached me for this—a lot of people in France and in the United States and elsewhere—because post-colonialism has become a comfort. For years, I’ve been writing about how we need to stop using post-colonialism as a complete and total explanation of reality. I think now we’ve reached a sort of political expression that’s very clear: People want to get out of the post-colonial era. They want to be done with that generation.
Friday, March 29, 2019
Post- Post-Colonial Algeria
Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud discusses what might come of Algeria's thus far peaceful revolution: