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About Martin Evans

Martin Evans is Professor of Modern History at the University of Sussex.  He was formerly Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Portsmouth. He is the co-author (with John Phillips) of Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Yale University Press: 2007) and the author of Algeria: France’s Undeclared War (Oxford University Press: 2012). 

Articles by Martin Evans

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Moroccan political cinema and the Arab Spring: an interview with Hicham Lasri

I was interested by the electricity in the air, the aggression and the disarray of those in power.

The Battle of Algiers: a formative influence on Moroccan cinema

Algeria partnershipLaying bare the social and economic structures of oppression to reconstruct a national psyche from the ruins – how an idea caught on.


Pontecorvo's Colonel Mathieu: the paratrooper who embodied France

Algeria partnershipWhat we see is a three dimensional character who is eloquent and thoughtful in his actions.

First encounters with the Battle of Algiers

Algeria partnershipOn February 6, 2013, the University of Sussex History Department held a special screening of the Battle of Algiers, followed by discussion with Yasmin El Derby from the Middle East and North Africa Film Festival in London. Here are three reactions.   

Transcending boundaries: Yasmin El Derby on The Battle of Algiers

Algeria partnershipThe festival director of the London Middle East and North Africa Film Festival talks about the place of Pontecorvo’s film within the history of the region’s cinema and about its future.


In short: Ken Loach on The Battle of Algiers

Algeria partnership

On 17 December 2012, Ken Loach summed up the personal significance of The Battle of Algiers for him, in our project situating Algeria’s history, society and politics within the wider context of the Arab world.

The Battle of Algiers: historical truth and filmic representation

Algeria partnershipThe bitter divisions within the FLN are ignored. Instead, Gillo Pontecorvo, in his 1966 film, The Battle of Algiers, presents the war uniquely in terms of the FLN against the French paratroopers. We begin a new series exploring the many facets of this remarkable film.

A history of Algeria in six objects

Algeria partnershipContinuing the openDemocracy series marking fifty years of Algerian independence, one of the series editors, Martin Evans, explores Algerian history through six objects.   Lecture (6,500 words)

The 2012 National Elections: why Algeria remains the exception in North Africa

Algeria partnershipLarge numbers did not vote because they saw the election as a charade. This sentiment was clear in countless blogs and posts on the internet.  Again and again Algerians underlined their disgust with the political class, with ‘le pouvoir’

Algeria and the Arab Awakening: Pasts, Presents and Futures

We want to open up a public conversation which will situate the country’s history, society and politics within the wider context of the Arab World; one that will be finely attuned to specificities and generalities as we explore what Algerians aspire to for them and their country in the twenty-first century.

Contextualising contemporary Algeria: June 1965 and October 1988

With the population now standing at just 37 million, the memory of October 1988 refuses to go away. That event encapsulated the gulf between the small political and military clique and the excluded majority, still the defining feature of Algerian politics.

Egypt, Algeria, Yemen: Further reading on the Arab uprising

Yale University Press have issued this sampler from recent books on the Egypt, Yemen and Algeria. All provide important background information on the histories, societies, politics and economies of nations now thrust into the media spotlight.
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