Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

LUCAS Symposium 2nd April from 9am: France in Mali: a Multidisciplinary Symposium: Translating colonial legacy into postcolonial conflict

02 April 2014 | Seminar


Recent events in Mali, Algeria and Niger have brought North African countries into further turbulence. In addition to leading the NATO strike in Libya against Gadhafi in 2011, leading up to the Malian campaign, France has demonstrated her track record of interventionism which has been more argumentative than widely held American perceptions would have it. Since the wave of independence movements following the Second World War, the French considered the continent their colonial playground, even without the title of imperial overlord. In Françafrique, colonial influences have translated into extensive cultural, political and economic assets that a delicate France now requires. While the current intervention in Mali could be justified on humanitarian grounds, recent world events have taught us that war is rarely fought without political and economic interest at play. And with the uncontrolled fiscal invasion of Chinese entities threatening France’s traditionally dominant sphere of influence in Africa, the intervention in Mali helps reinvent French power in the region.


09:00- Welcome

09:15- Introduction (Kamal Salhi SMLC-French, University of Leeds)

09:30- "France in Mali: a postcolonial intervention?" (Tony Chaffer CEISR, University of Portsmouth)

10:30- "‘The Infantrymen and the Migrants: vivid memory of postcolonial criticism in Mali" (Clara Lecadet EHESS Paris)

11:15- Tea/coffee break

11:30- "Real Perspectives - Views from the Ground: France's re-engagement in the region" (Celeste Hicks BBC)

12:15- "War is peace… The French republican war on terror in Mali" (Sophie Watt SLC-French, University of Sheffield)

13:00- Lunch

14:00- "Deportee Futures and Colonial Pasts: Migrant narratives and French humanitarianism in Mali" (Julie Kleinman Oberlin College Ohio)

14:30- Screening of Mali d’or [Golden Mali] An examination of exploitation and neo-colonialism
Followed by a discussion in the presence of Malian director Eric Pauporté.
(Chaired by Sophie Watt)

All are welcome. This event is free of charge but you must register before 21 March by emailing FLLKS@leeds.ac.uk.

Location Details

Clothworks North Building
Lecture Theatre G.12

This is number 56 on the campus map.

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