Migrant to Marseillais: Engaging the quartiers nord Open Access

Ekanem, Faith (Spring 2022)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/bz60cx53d?locale=en


The framing of the migrant communities of Marseille’s quartiers nord as a precarious periphery presents space as a stratifying tool of supremacy. This honors thesis studies the interactions between Algeria migrant communities and their lived spheres, from their origin (Algiers) to foreign society (Marseille). This work applies sociological perspectives of Abdelmalek Sayad and Alain Gillette to observe colonial rupture of space. Visual markers of French supremacy are examined through the critical theories of Homi Bhabha and Madeleine Dobie. These scholarly perspectives are applied to architecture analyses (Zeynep Çelik), photojournalism (Philippe Pujol, Gilles Favier, Teddy Seguin, Youssouf Djibaba, Arnau Bach and Tobias Zielony), rap music (IAM and 13 Organisé) and documentary (Franceinfo) to observe the socio-spatial asymmetries between ‘foreigness’ and ‘Frenchness’. This work is divided into four parts, the first being an introductory probe into the one-sided narrative of migrant communities. The first chapter begins in Algiers, where the colonial architecture reconfigures the colony as a marker of French sovereignty. The second chapter parallels ‘Frenchness’ as the dominant cultural paradigm in the housing estates of Algiers and Marseille. The final chapter observes the conflict between the confined life of alienated communities in the quartiers nord and the fluidity of the migrant existence. Overall, this work observes the performance of dominion in a spatial dimension.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Dangers of Singular Narratives 1

Chapter 1: The Aesthetics of Conformity: French Urban Renewal in Algiers              7

Chapter 2: Spatializing Heritage: Migrant Housing in Marseille                                  23

Chapter 3: Planet Mars: Engaging visibility in the quartiers nord                                 38

Conclusion                                                                                                                               54

Illustration Sources and Credits                                                                               57        

Bibliography                                                                                                           58

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