Algerian-Belgian Novelist and Filmmaker Malika Madi and Writing as Intervention

Vittoria Volgare is   an Italian journalist and translator. She begins from her own story, as a woman born in Belgium to   a Muslim family of Algerian origin, raised in the post-‘68 era. One day, she is kidnapped and raped. Her parents left Kabilya after the independence of ‘62 to go work in the mines of Belgium, like many other immigrants of the same period, particularly those   from Morocco, Italy, and Turkey. But I did not want to write just to publish something. What provoked this shift and what will be the consequences? Reply ↓

daveyone1

April 5, 2017 • 12:39 pm

Reblogged this on World Peace Forum. In that period, the biggest challenge for women like her was to be part of the host country and be considered Belgians. Since 2005, she lives in the Arab world (Damascus, Cairo, Beirut, Tripoli and now Kuwait). The book won the Best First Work of the French Community in Belgium and today is widely read and discussed in schools all over the country. Literature moved   her to integrate even more, and today her books are part of the heritage of the Belgian Francophone literature: “As a child of analphabet parents, I had the impression that art and literature were reserved for   wealthy people. Her dream is to go to university and study literature, but it will never come true because her sisters decide to escape, and Farah is therefore forced to marry Latifa’s husband-to-be. Madi has also written two other novels, among them an erotic work   called Chamsa, Daughter of the Sun   (Editions du Cygne). Her last work, the essay “Maternity and Literature, Creation and Procreation, was   published last month. Her talk was titled   “Author, woman, Belgo-Algerian citizen, the paths of a woman with multiple belongings,” and she spoke about her “issues”-focused writing and filmmaking:
By Vittoria Volgare
Photo credit: Vittoria Volgare. It’s about the complexity of being mother and at the same time writer. The Belgian Embassy in Kuwait   invited Algerian-Belgian writer Malika Madi to Kuwait to celebrate the Francophone Days. I was fascinated by this world. Like Zohra, many other survivors decided to stay silent. Our ancestors’   values,   or are they perhaps not applicable anymore to the modern times we live in? Nowadays, Madi is writing a documentary about the link that binds mothers to daughters in the   context of migration. During those dark 10 years of conflict thousands of women were kidnapped, sexually abused, and sometimes killed. She had written short stories, but Madi launched   her fiction career with her first novel Farah’s Dark Night (Editions du Cerisier, 2000), which tackles forced marriages, double identity, and marginality. She will move to Algeria with him, abandoning her studies, and will get used to her role of wife and housewife. As a second-generation woman, she struggled to find an equilibrium between her Belgian and Algerian identities while her family had emigrated with the idea of returning one day, so   integration was not really a priority.   After having   studied Arabic at the University of Napoli “L’Orientale”, she collaborated with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and for the Italian Press Agency ANSA. Advertisements

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2 replies

Amer

April 5, 2017 • 7:49 am

It is so interesting to read about women by the same genda, I try to understand the concept and methodology on writing about brutality and rape in both characters. The First Novel:   Farah’s Dark Night
Malika is not only a novelist, but a screen writer, essayist, and speaker. Farah’s Dark Night   is the story of the titular Farah, a young girl of Algerian origin living in Belgium with her family. Reply ↓ If her two older sisters, Latifa and Lila, are brought up by her conservative parents to marry an Algerian and become good wives, Farah is allowed to study and cultivate her passion: reading. She brings to the project her perspective as   a woman with multiple identities: European, Algerian, and Berber. Malika Madi was born in Wallonia in the late 1960s. Since 1999, she has worked in schools and associations all over Belgium in order to raise awareness on issues around   cultural diversity and immigration. Kuwait City – “I often write about women, because we can only talk about what we know best. The documentary addresses   these questions by analyzing the lives of three generations: Malika Madi, her mother, and her daughter. What do we transmit to our children? Today, she says, the younger   generations are often drawn   to Islam and want to revindicate their identities. It is the story of Zohra, a young observant Muslim who lives and works as teacher in the Algerian city of Medea during the conflict between Islamists and the army. When she returns home, shocked and ashamed, she refuses to talk about what really happened to her. However I found it so beautiful essay regardless of scarce resources. But what troubles her most, after several years of marriage, is the betrayal of her sisters. Can the two coexist? In doing that I also try to denounce injustices.” This, in her own words, is what Algerian Belgian author Malika Madi has   undertaken since she started writing in French more than 20 years ago. I needed my books to be useful to people, to provoke an exchange of views.” So her writing is often issues-based: identity, religion, immigration, family, and violence. Very present in this novel is the doubled identity: Farah and her sisters must navigate   the two cultures, the parents’ Algerian traditions and the pressures of the Belgian society. Between motherhood and brutality
Victims of rape during Algeria’s 1990s   civil war are   the main characters of Madi’s   second novel, The Silences of Medea (Espace Nord, 2003). Yet Madi’s uprooting had   the opposite effect: She was part of   an integrated second generation. The book was inspired by a true story, Malika says.