History, Department of


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Ben Taleb, B. “From Colonial Domination to Rejection of Migrants: From Indigenous to Migrant, Political Essays by Michel Jouard.” Historical Dialogues, Justice, and Memory Network, Columbia University, (March 2018).


On September 2, 2015, the world was racked by the picture of the 3- year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi who was found lying face down on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum. Aylan was among thousands of migrants and war refugees, including 300 toddlers, who drowned in the Mediterranean attempting to reach Europe that year. To many, his tragic story came to symbolise the gruesome war left behind in Syria and the failure of the international community to end the bloodshed; to others, it is tied to the absence or lack of better European regulations to treat these migrants through asylum or visa programs. To Michel Jouard, however, the rejection of migrants is largely tied to a lingering colonial legacy and the more substantive historical dimension of European amnesia. In De la Domination Coloniale au Rejet des Migrants: De l'Indigène à l'Immigré (From Colonial Rule to Rejection of Migrants: from the Indigenous to the Migrant), Jouard looks beyond tabloid stories and media coverage of the ongoing “crisis” of immigration to remind his readers of the connection between the long-standing legacy of colonialism and the devastating, unequal, and often impoverishing conditions that former colonies still wrestle with. (8)

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