Walls of Algiers examines the historical processes that transformed Ottoman Algiers, the "Bulwark of Islam," into "Alger la blanche," the colonial urban showpiece - and, after the outbreak of revolution in 1954 - counter-model of France's global empire. In this volume, the city of Algiers serves as a case study for the analysis of the proactive and reactive social, political, technical, and artistic forces that generate a city's form. Visual sources - prints, photographs, paintings, architectural drawings, urban designs, and film - are treated as primary evidence that complements and even challenges textual documents.
The contributors' wide-ranging but intersecting essays span the disciplines of art history, social and cultural history, urban studies, and film history. Walls of Algiers presents a multifaceted look at the social use of urban space in a North African city. Its contributors' innovative methodologies allow important insights into often overlooked aspects of life in a city whose name even today conjures up enchantment as well as incomprehensible violence.
Contributors include Julia Clancy-Smith, Omar Carlier, Frances Terpak, Zeynep Celik, Eric Breitbart, Isabelle Grangaud, and Patricia M. E. Lorcin.