Past Event

Mohamed Kouaci Exhibition Opening and Panel Discussion

November 1, 2022
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Buell Hall, 515 W. 116 St., New York, NY 10027 East Gallery


This panel and exhibition opening are part of a larger series of events on Algeria at 60: Images from a Revolution

Traces of Memory: The War of Independence in Visual Culture, 5PM-6:30PM
Panel Discussion

The wartime photography of Mohamed Kouaci, which is being exhibited for the first time outside Algeria, presents an opportunity to reflect on photography as a site of memory. Four scholars of Algerian visual culture discuss how the history of the Algerian War has been communicated through images. The discussion will be led by Marianne Hirsch, whose work has shaped conversations on memory and photography.


- Meryem Belkaïd, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Bowdoin College

- Zeynep Çelik, Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Design, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Sakıp Sabancı Visiting Professor of History, Columbia University

- Samia Henni, Assistant Professor of History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism, Cornell University

- Jill Jarvis, Assistant Professor of French, Yale University

Moderated by Marianne Hirsch, William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature & Professor in the Center for the Study of Sexuality, Columbia University 


The panel will be followed by the screening of a recorded conversation about the photography exhibition between Raphaëlle Branche and Emmanuel Kattan.

- Raphaëlle Branche, Professor of Contemporary History, Institut des Sciences Sociales du Politique, Université de Paris Nanterre

- Emmanuel Kattan, Director of Alliance Program


Exhibition Opening:  Witnessing and Documenting the Making of the FLN: A conversation with Safia Kouaci and Meriem Merzouga, 6:30 PM

Photographs for the Mohamed Kouaci: Vision(s) of Algeria exhibit are presented courtesy of Safia Kouaci.

Moderated by: Adel Ben Bella, curator and PhD student in Modern Culture and Media, Brown University

Safia Kouaci is an ex FLN militant and the widow of Algerian photographer Mohamed Kouaci, with whom she shared her life for almost half a century until his death in 1996. She spent most of the war in Tunis as a documentalist at the Centre de documentation du ministère de l'information, participating in the making of the FLN newspaper El Moudjahid, where Mohamed Kouaci was photo editor and photographer. Meriem Merzouga, originally from the Casbah of Algiers, was a close aide to first Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella. Based in France during most of the war, she was active in the French Federation of the FLN until returning to Algeria in 1962. She became a privileged witness of the formation of the first Algerian government and nascent Independent Algerian State.

Contact Information

Clara Wilhelm