La poste au douar : Usagers non citoyens et État colonial dans les campagnes algériennes de la fin du XIXe siècle à la Seconde Guerre mondiale

Abstract : Throughout the colonial period, Algerian users are largely absent from administrative archives relating to postal services, telegraphs, and telephones (PTT). If the French conquest did not spur colonized populations, with their ancient writing practices, to “enter into communication,” should this absence be understood as the refusal of a progress that was itself colonialist? The period between the two world wars marked a turning point: pressure from local representatives and a wave of petitions from noncitizen villagers reconfigured a public service previously monopolized by European users. Belatedly, and with as little expense as possible, the administration finally supported postal services for isolated areas. Observing the colonial situation in the most local and ordinary of its manifestations, this article sheds light on everyday writing practices and reinstates the “thickness” of a neighborhood service. Rather than limiting the study to the French presence in Algeria, this depends on pressing the colonial documentation to reveal the workings of Algerian society and the reorganizations prompted by the colonial encounter. Complaints and petitions thus illuminate the relation of noncitizen, rural, and mostly illiterate populations to the colonial state. These unexpected uses of the post and subversive demands for the service led colonized populations to piece together a political identity that borrowed certain practices from active citizens and drove the French authorities to propose unprecedented adjustments.
Document type :
Journal articles
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Submitted on : Monday, December 18, 2017 - 6:14:28 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 1:52:13 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01666879, version 1

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Annick Lacroix. La poste au douar : Usagers non citoyens et État colonial dans les campagnes algériennes de la fin du XIXe siècle à la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Annales. Histoire, Sciences sociales, Armand Colin, 2016, 71e année (3), pp.709-740. ⟨hal-01666879⟩

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