Paradoxes in Collective Female Storytelling: A Study of Silence, Voice, Community, and Language in Assia Djebar's Wrok

Publication Year



Storytelling, Assia Djebar, writing, filmaker


Place and Environment | Visual Studies | Women's Studies


One of the preoccupations of postcolonial writers has been the idea of belonging and of displacement. This theme is important because the historical relationship between the colonizer and the colonized has relied upon social and cultural differences as a way of distinguishing between "us" and "them," or as critic Edward Said has said, "The West and the Rest." Furthermore, the postcolonial period has seen a vast movement of the formerly colonized subjects migrating to their Western "motherlands." Algerian author and filmmaker Assia Djebar, whose career spans in excess of thirty-five years reflects upon the condition of postcoloniality in her work. In an interview with Clarisse Zirma, she discusses her multicultural identity in relation to the act of writing: "Writing always brings one back to oneself, to that inner core or heart...I felt as if...I was exposing myself doubly. First, because as an Algerian, but living--or so it seemed--as a Westerner, I was somewhat exposed already. Second, because writing about my innermost self felt like exposing myself further: I more or less chose silence."

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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