Monument to the Dead (Le Pavois) in Algiers

Algeria

By Jade

Built after the First World War, ‘Le Pavois’ was meant to symbolise unification between Europe and Africa. However, to the people of Algier, it is a symbol of the colonial past and French oppression. After Algeria gained independence in 1962, discussions between city representatives and local artists arose about the monument’s future. While officials wanted to demolish the monument, artists advocated for its historical significance, resulting in encasing the monument in a concrete sarcophagus. This case study examines the complexities of dealing with colonial legacies after independence, including social, historical, political, and artistic/aesthetic considerations.

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