“We fell behind in teaching colonial history and the Algerian war because we had to turn the page, we had to forget, we had to move forward in order to live (…) And so for 30 years we did not did not talk about it, until the 90s“, explains Benjamin Stora, historian specializing in colonization and the Algerian war. In July 2020, Emmanuel Macron commissioned Benjamin Stora to write a report on the memories of the colonization and the Algerian war.
In this report, the historian formulates proposals to better reflect this period. “There is of course the question of strengthening history for school textbooks, of knowing the history of France better, history must be enlarged, it must not be narrowed down. That seems pretty obvious to me. These are recommendations that also require a shift of the gaze“, considers the historian.”The general movement is the circulation and exchange of the relationship. It is not the immediacy of a measure that we will forget in three months, but it is to try to set in motion a process of real knowledge of the other. This is the meaning of my work“, he concludes.