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Conflict and Revolutionary Possibility in North Africa: Sudan, Algeria, and the Western Sahara

April 23, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am  |  Virtual Event


In the past several years, moments of political opposition and revolutionary possibility have continued to unfold across North Africa. In 2018, protest erupted in Sudan. Algeria followed when in 2019, President Bouteflika announced his intention to seek a fifth term. In the Western Sahara, the Polisario Front resumed its armed struggle in 2020 after the end of a twenty-nine year-long UN mediated cease-fire. Featuring Khalid Medani (McGill University), Vivian Solana (Carleton University), and Farida Souiah (Aix-Marseille University), this event will explore the evolution of revolutionary politics in contemporary North Africa, which has received relatively less attention in the media than the protests that, a decade ago, comprised the “Arab Spring.” Our panelists will shed light on the underlying causes of resistance in each national context as well as its broader implications for regional politics, including questions of pacification, peace, and the politicization of undocumented migration in the region. This event is presented by THI’s Center for the Middle East and North Africa.


Vivian Solana is an Assistant Professor at Carleton University’s Department of Sociology & Anthropology in Ottawa, Canada.Based on long-term ethnographic research in Sahrawi refugee camps located in Southern Algeria, her work studies the social regeneration of the political struggle for the decolonisation of Western Sahara. With a focus on women and youth, she examines everyday forms of political labor that sustain and regeneratethe Sahrawi movement for national independence within the sovereign spaces of other nation-states.

Farida Souiah holds a PhD (Cum Laude) in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris and is currently a research associate at Aix-Marseille University, France, in the Centre méditerrannéen de sociologie, de science politique et d’Histoire. Farida studies migration, international mobility and protest. She is particularly attentive to symbolic constructions, social imaginaries and the politicization of migration.

Khalid Mustafa Medani is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University, where he is also Chair of the African Studies Program. He is the recipient of a Carnegie Scholar on Islam award between 2007-2009. His book, entitled“Black Markets and Militants: Informal Networks in the Middle East and Africa,” is forthcoming later this year from Cambridge University Press.


April 23, 2021
10:00 am - 11:30 am