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Humanities 2019, 8(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010002

The Digital Griotte: Bessora’s Para/Textual Discourses on Identity Politics and Neocolonialism in Contemporary France

French and Francophone Studies Department, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY 13323, USA
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 1 January 2019
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Abstract

This article examines Bessora’s literary and digital criticism of postcolonial France, particularly in her first novel, 53 cm, and on her website, Tendre peau de vache. Bessora’s use of digital media in particular allows her to chronicle unofficial discourses on immigration, migration, and identity politics in France as alternative textual productions to her printed novels. Since there is a gap in academic studies regarding author websites and their contents, this study aims to start a conversation on the discursive function of an author’s digital textual productions. Following Jean Baudrillard’s theory in The Spirit of Terrorism according to which a terrorist act is successful when it distances itself from the real and exalts itself in the realm of the symbolic, this article argues that Bessora’s digital discourses on the post-Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack effectively denounce the disappearance of the real in French culture in favor of ideals such as the #jesuischarlie movement. From the publication of 53 cm in 1999 to her commentaries on France’s alienation of the lowest socio-economic class in Le Testament de Nicolas (2016), the self-proclaimed griotte’s print and digital productions complement each other and bring the reader closer to an understanding of institutional neocolonialist practices in France. View Full-Text
Keywords: postcolonial; neocolonial; digital; France; Francophone; terrorism postcolonial; neocolonial; digital; France; Francophone; terrorism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mouflard, C. The Digital Griotte: Bessora’s Para/Textual Discourses on Identity Politics and Neocolonialism in Contemporary France. Humanities 2019, 8, 2.

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