THE DAMNED proposes a new study of the genealogy of the New Left in Western Europe from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s. Breaking with current interpretations, the project reframes the European political geography to include the (post)colonial space, and reassesses the historical influence of the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962) – and Third Worldism more generally – in the genealogy of the new political cultures that flourished during the ‘long 1960s’, associating a renewed antifascism with anticolonial struggles. Bringing together disciplines and methodologies from across a number of humanities and social sciences, THE DAMNED will produce a case study (focusing on Algeria, France and Italy) setting out new approaches to understanding the emerging of the New Left as a complex process encompassing local, national and transnational dynamics; a process shaped by, but also shaping, decolonisation. The goal is to contribute – at least – to complicating the Western narrative of the global 1960s, by shifting the focus from Berkeley and Paris to Algiers.
THE DAMNED is to be carried out mostly in Algeria, with a secondment in France and a return phase in Italy. Working with leading experts in each of these countries, the aim is to develop a truly transnational, interdisciplinary network exploring anew the global 1960s. By means of an extensive oral history project interviewing anticolonial activists, THE DAMNED will create a repository of sources for researchers, with a selection of interviews accessible online. THE DAMNED has been designed to ensure a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge between the researcher and the third country (Algeria): ‘The challenge is to improve the design of cultural experiences by enhancing participatory and collaborative approaches and by fostering mutual cultural understanding and resilient strategies’, as stated in the H2020 Work Programme 2018–20.
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