Cover of Monuments Decolonized by Susan Slyomovics
Monuments Decolonized
Algeria's French Colonial Heritage
Susan Slyomovics

July 2024
368 pages.
from $35.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503632899
Paperback ISBN: 9781503639485



"Statuomania" overtook Algeria beginning in the nineteenth century as the French affinity for monuments placed thousands of war memorials across the French colony. But following Algeria's hard-fought independence in 1962, these monuments took on different meaning and some were "repatriated" to France, legally or clandestinely. Today, in both Algeria and France, people are moving and removing, vandalizing and preserving this contested, yet shared monumental heritage.

Susan Slyomovics follows the afterlives of French-built war memorials in Algeria and those taken to France. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in both countries and interviews with French and Algerian heritage actors and artists, she analyzes the colonial nostalgia, dissonant heritage, and ongoing decolonization and iconoclasm of these works of art. Monuments emerge here as objects with a soul, offering visual records of the colonized Algerian native, the European settler colonizer, and the contemporary efforts to engage with a dark colonial past. Richly illustrated with more than 100 color images, Monuments Decolonized offers a fresh aesthetic take on the increasingly global move to fell monuments that celebrate settler colonial histories.

About the author

Susan Slyomovics is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of four books, the most recent of which is How to Accept German Reparations (2014).