Tag: Colonialism


by Alison Whittaker Wangal land, in the memory of colonial records at least, has never been hotter. Today while I write, its sky is some thick full-handed slap of cyan on an unwilling canvas. Every new humid day that it’s like this, I’m reminded that we’re heading towards some new series of precipices even as we cross the last. Sitting in this office chair, lazily sweating and glowering at a close and motionless tree, there’s the tug of momentum under my pelvis. We’re rapidly headed towards something. Hottest year to another hottest year and some accelerating heavy panic that the…

… read more

Peaceable Kingdom

‘And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and the calf and the lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them out of the wilderness.’

I grew up with this story, heard it in church, seen it as pictures on my aunties’ walls and assumed it was just another of those Christian aphorisms for peace and kindness so loved of the church that also loved beheading Africans who dared believe in another God, or worse still, tried to hang on to their land.

A thousand tiny fettered steps

by Michelle Hamadache  I The mother in me is horrified at that little boy holding onto the pigeon. I’m thinking psittacosis. Mostly I adore his swag, debonair in adidas, his rakish lean against the walls of the kasbah, and his friend stage right eyeing the bird with such adult circumspection. Pigeon and boy front and centre, both bird and boy with me firmly in their sights. Does the pigeon looks happier than might be expected, given her situation? Louiza Ammi took that photo. She’s brilliant and she’s brave. She’s taken photos of riots and of graves. She’s taken photos of…

… read more

Of Knaves and Knights and the Long In-Land Road

by Michelle Hamadache THE FIRST BORDJ There’s an alchemy that dissolves time and divisions and brings to the surface like the city of Atlantis from the waters of our mind, from the liquid space of what we know and of what we forget, instantiated moments. An arcane compound that is geographic, as much as synaptic, imperial, incantatory, an inheritance and a newborn thing, inhuman, as much as human. The first time I heard Amine refer to me as roumia, followed by his mother concurring that, yes, the roumi do have some strange ideas, I lost perspective, my sub specie aeternitatis…

… read more

The Love Between

by Michelle Hamadache There are two men who share my heart. One is my husband, Amine, and the other is Albert Camus. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’re both Algerian, and though I’d never tell my husband, I wonder if I’d have fallen in love with him, if I hadn’t have fallen in love with Camus first. Amine and I met on New Years Eve 1991 on the steps of San Lorenzo, a medieval cathedral in Perugia, Italy. His lion-eyes, blue-black hair and fighter’s stance—poised, open-chested, heart first—were enough to tempt me down from the church steps and…

… read more