On Postcolonial Alliances: The Case of the Parisian Noirabie Challenged by Slavery in Libya

Kenza Talmat, l’Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Universite Paris Nanterre

The transformation of the concept of race since the post-World War II delegitimization of its biological definition has been a crucial issue for sociology, putting a double imperative in dialectical tension. On the one hand, scholars consider the specific and localized configurations of race according to historical, demographic, spatial, economic, epistemological, and political circumstances. On the other hand, they also consider the transnational processes of racialization induced by globalization—most often grasped as a modern European imperialist craft, of which the United States became the leading post-Cold War architect. Such discussions on the characterization and dynamism of racial phenomena run parallel to others on (post)positivist tools for analyzing the social world and their ability to grasp, account for, subvert, or consolidate the power relations at play (Abu-Lughod 1993; Smith 1999; Mohanty 2003; McKittrick 2021; Vaziri 2021).

Despite pioneering analyses of international significance for the field, the study of racialization in France has been ironically consigned as a peripheral or imported object by the scholarly establishment.[1] However, as in all of Europe, rich empirical and theoretical literature questions racialization processes and their articulation with other social relations at various scales, while redeeming the heuristic value of minorities’ reflexivity on their experience of otherization (Sayad 1975; Essed 1991; El Tayeb 2011). Yet, investigation remains dominated by an ethnocentric methodological nationalism that limits the exploration of the majority/minority relationship and has contributed to considering the formation of racialized minorities isolated from one another.[2] Consequently, researchers in migration and interethnic studies are still struggling to provide a dynamic account of the co-presence of the various minority racializations and how they may relate to each other.

As a corollary, the hegemonic paradigm of the “reactive identity” has hindered the study of ethno-racial identification beyond the mechanics of stigma reversal. I analyze this paradigm as a legacy of the scientific-colonial apparatus that made the symbolic-cultural dimensions of ethnicity the realm of anthropologists overseas and of Marxist orthodoxy that considers such identifications at best as symptomatic of a “compensatory identity” that is still too ill-equipped or immature to be expressed in terms of class struggle. I maintain that this take contributes both to the conceptual amalgamation of race and ethnicity—the latter often being used as a euphemism for the former in the French context—and to the downplaying of the identificatory and material significance of ethnicity. Thus pathologized—by the “anthropophagous national model” as an “irreducible identity” (Sayad 1975) deemed contrary to the advent of the modern man and his French persona—ethnicity, and its (post)colonial and diasporic iterations, remains an underdeveloped field in France, to say the least.

I argue that those dominant framings overlook the way in which racial and ethnic boundaries and hierarchies can be discussed, negotiated, enhanced, and troubled from below, at the inter-minority level. Furthermore, it prevents scholars from grasping racism as a dynamic and multidimensional phenomenon that operates not only on the hierarchy between dominant and dominated racializations, but also on the maintenance of boundaries between minorities in a competitive relationship through the policing of their identities and solidarities.

In this article I highlight the contribution that the minority mirror can make to the study of racism, race, and ethnicity with an examination of the process of ethno-racial subjectification. I analyze how anti-racist activists were racialized as “Black” and “Maghrebian” in the Paris region by a controversy born in the decolonial milieu after the mediatization of slavery practices in Libya by the US media channel CNN in November 2017.[3] In France, the report by CNN sparked heated debate on anti-Blackness in the so-called “Arab world” and the Maghrebian diaspora. It acted as a platform to air several grievances regarding the decolonial anti-racist milieu, adding to an ongoing politicization of the issue, for which Afro-feminists were the first spokespersons.With social media as its main arena, the debate revolved around the political responsibility of non-Black North Africans to denounce anti-Black racism in Arab countries, despite their socialization on French soil.

My analysis relies on participant observations carried out since September 2016 and on 32 in-depth interviews as part of my master’s thesis between November 2017 and July 2018. The interviewees backgrounds differed in terms of gender, age (19–47), generation (joining the anti-racist movement between 1990 and 2016), ethnicity (although among those from the Maghreb more self-identified as Amazigh), religious affiliation (although fewer grew up Jewish), sexual orientation, administrative status, length of residence in France, educational level, and residential socialization. Except for one activist of Sudanese origin, all trace their ancestry to French colonies in Africa and the Caribbean. In addition, all but two came from middle-class or working-class backgrounds, although they had different socio-economic and educational statuses at the time of interview. This article will unfold in two sections. The first will review interviewees’ ethno-racialsubjectification processes according to their reflexive take on their experiences of racialization. Next, these identifications will be dynamically put into perspective and discussed in light of respondents’ reception of the activist controversy over the CNN report on slavery in Libya.

Becoming Arab and Black: The Complex Lived Experiences of Islamophobia and Anti-Blackness in France

Becoming Arab

Empirical research on Islamophobia in Europe entered the academic landscape in the 1990s (Allen 2010).Starting from British faculties, and despite facing harsh conservative backlash especially in France, research on racism against Muslims is today a flourishing interdisciplinary field all over Europe. While numerous studies have acknowledged the prevalence of anti-Muslim racism in all European countries, notably in “post-attack” contexts, its modus operandi in practice and “the burden of visibility as a Muslim” (Quisay 2023) appears to vary based on national racial formations (Leveau and Mohsen-Fina 2013). Regarding the process of group stigmatization, questions remain in relation to the (dis)connection of the attribution of religious stigma to specific ethno-racial or phenotypic backgrounds. Scholars debate whether contemporary anti-Muslim racism can be considered a process of “ethnicization of Islam” or “Islamization of the ethnic,” depending on national contexts (Rajina 2022). In France, Islamophobia has often been conceptualized as a substitute for, or even a mutation of, anti-Maghrebian racism (Hajjat and Mohammed, 2013). Research has identified a substantial correlation between being perceived as Arab/Maghrebian and being presumed Muslim. This articulation has also been made very clear in interviewees’ accounts, as in this excerpt from an interview with Leila, 20, a light-skinned, wavy-haired Moroccan student who arrived in France in 2015 to pursue a political science degree:

When I say that I am Moroccan, usually people think that I grew up here [in France], so I have to specify that I come from Morocco, I arrived here two years ago. When I say that they’re like “oh but you speak French very well!” […] They have so many questions. […] All the Orientalist stereotypes you can find… What I hate is that they [White French] try to use me against my own people. I mean, the Maghrebians who were born in France. They tell me “yeah, but you are different because you attended university. You came here because you are cultured. Not like the others.” The others, the banlieue, those who like to make troubles, who are aggressi…violent. Those who are extremists, those who are fundamentalists. That’s why I avoid telling them I am not Muslim. If I don’t know the person, if that person is a White French, there are really few chances that I… That she might know. Except if I have trust in that person. And if she has the ability to step back to understand things.  […] I just say, “I amMuslim.” I am not Muslim, but otherwise they will come and ask me “but why? Is it because Islam oppresses women? So, you realized it too. Ah! Welcome to France! You came to France to be saved. By the French society, by Voltaire.” I don’t know [she laughs]. So, I avoid giving them what they’re looking for… But it is tiring because I always feel like I’m in a constant political battleship. I always have to explain everything, to justify everything, to represent all the Maghrebian, migrant, racialized communities… It is so exhausting.

As for all non-Muslims of Maghrebian origin in our sample, in 2018, Leila’s reactive and pragmatic identification with the Muslim label was a way to ward off attempts at tokenization that would seek to turn her against her own people, born in France or in North Africa, for racist purposes. Beyond genuine beliefs, identifying oneself as Muslim was therefore practiced as a day-to-day strategy to throw Orientalist stereotypes off balance, while also displaying one’s solidarity with the anti-racist movement against Islamophobia in France.

While less documented in the existing literature, feeling compelled to translate one’s identity when navigating the French Islamophobic racial economy is also common when it comes to the domain of ethnicity. Threatened with ethnocide on the African continent by the forced Arabization policies of post-independent states, Indigenous Amazigh identity is also systematically obliterated or folklorized in France. More often than not it is racialized as “Arab” outside their communities. Yet, all my Amazigh interviewees shared that assuming the Arab label (when identified as such by the “White gaze”) was a responsibility they took on in mainland France because they did not want to reinforce anti-Arab sentiments by being seen as engaging in an “ethnic flight” to “avoid problems” (to quote one of them).

Nevertheless, this reactive identification remained mostly limited to the elaboration of discourse and political actions strictly geared to the French state in the French political context, although this kind of move has sometimes also been used on an organizational basis (like in the earlier Arab Workers Movement of the 1970s), or ideologically to strategically promote pan-Arabism. In the same vein, one self-identifying 26-year-old decolonial feminist of Tunisian Arab origin who grew up in Paris in a diverse working-class area, also explicitly distanced herself from pan-Arabism in solidarity with her non-Arab Maghrebian peers glocally. Among the respondents who self-identified ethnically as Arab, only 20-year-old Younes, who grew up in Lyon’s countryside with a father of Algerian Chaoui origin (an Amazigh ethno-linguistic group from the Aures region) and a White French mother, encouraged the systematic reactive endorsement of the labels assigned by the “White gaze,” regardless of locality, to oppose European imperialism. These two cases, projecting different ways of embracing Arabness, call for a closer examination of the influence of residential socialization (especially with regards to inter-minorities contacts and relations) on the formation of ethno-racial identifications and how they can be invested and projected politically. Nevertheless, in 2018 and beyond, on the organizational level, the embodiment of the racial category Arab seemed to be increasingly challenged among the younger generations of people with Maghrebian origins. Regardless of their ethnic identification, and even more so in feminist and queer spheres, they favored the term North African—already widely used from one shore of the Mediterranean to another by Indigenous communities outside this militant milieu—as well as the increasingly popular Pan-African projections.

Arab and Black racial identities being mutually exclusive in the French racial economy, the processes of subjectification of dark-skinned Amazigh and Arab individuals take a different path. This is best exemplified by the journeys of Zanouba, who is Sudanese Arab, and Safia, who is of Amazigh Moroccan origin.

Becoming Black 

Born in France to Sudanese parents, Zanouba, 34, spent her childhood between Sudan and a neighboring North African country. In Sudan, she was a member of the Arab dominant social group. However, since she has settled in France, outside her homeland community, she is exclusively read as Black, and often reduced to being a “Black woman who speaks Arabic” among North Africans. These conflicting translations in France and Africa led Zanouba to reorient her activism on her Blackness in France, and to describe her militant stance as that of an “African woman organizing against French colonial power.” While she may not claim her Arabness at the organizational level in France, Zanouba takes the recognition of her Arab ethnicity at the intra-community level as a responsibility to ensure no depoliticization of her positionality in Sudan. At the same time, she sees claiming her Blackness on both sides of the Mediterranean as a way to subvert power relations in her home country.

Drawing on similar experiences of translation and her specific marginalization within the Maghrebian community as a Black Amazigh, 23-year-old Safia, born and socialized in the Paris region, also chose to organize primarily with the Black diaspora in France. However, in our sample, at the time of the interviews, individuals born of so-called “mixed unions” did not emphasize the primacy of their Black identity in the way they politically organize in the French context.

Both Camélia, 25, of Chaoui Algerian and Afro-Guyanese descent, and Ezra, 29, of Afro-Guyanese and Sephardic Tunisian descent—who on a daily basis is either racialized as Arab, Antillais, or even Indian—claimed the labels Black and Caribbean as much as North African, or Arab in the case of Camélia and Maghrebian in Ezra’s.[4] In their accounts, it is both their phenotypic ambiguity and experiences of Arabophobia/Islamophobia that seem to have led them to assert this dual belonging. Conversely, in Zanouba’s account, it is because of her experience of anti-Blackness and a phenotype where “Africanness is more visible,” as she puts it, that she can claim to be “Afro”-feminist in militant transactions in France, despite the slave-owning past and racial supremacy exercised by her social group of origin in Sudan, unlike light-skinned North Africans. In the economy of French minority identifications, the particle “Afro” seemed in 2018 to be intended on this scene as the strict equivalent of the substantive noir, as derived from the racialist theories developed by European scientific positivism, in order to unite paths marked by the experience of anti-Blackness.

Thus, at the height of the controversy around the CNN report on slavery in Libya, although many Black activists expressed their desire for activists of North African origin to assert their African identity, none of the activists went so far as to add the particle “Afro” to non-Black North Africans. Although they come from very different ethnic, cultural, and socio-demographic backgrounds, all the respondents whose lives have been affected by the experience of anti-Blackness identified themselves as Black. They also all embrace pan-African ideologies. However, the way in which these identifications translate into community political allegiance in France remains a matter that differs by subjectivity.

In 2018, all interviewees viewed Black and (Muslim) Maghrebian experiences as sharing in France the most similar postcolonial racializations, institutional stigmatization, political spaces, and social histories. Especially in contrast to Asian, Jewish, and Roma experiences, which have been less strongly represented in this militant milieu. In the range of shared Black and Arab experiences, often strictly delineated in the context of working-class neighborhoods by my interlocutors (regardless of residential socialization), police brutality emerged as the determining factor in the thick minority federation and the most mobilizing cause transversally. So much so, in fact, that the majority have come to regard the noirabie[5] (the political concept crafted by Black and Maghrebian activists to talk about their community of “Les Noirs et les Arabes”) of the French banlieue as their political community of belonging. All the more so when they have been socialized in working-class neighborhoods with a militant dedication focusing on the local level or on the issue of police brutality.

If, prior to the CNN report, only one Afro-feminist interviewee (of Senegalese Muslim origin) out of 32, perceived alliances with Arabs more selectively and saw her community of political allegiance as “exclusively Black,” the controversy has led several other Black activists to shift their alliances in this direction.

The Activist Controversy after the CNN Report

On November 13, 2017, CNN released a report shot at the end of October exposing “slave markets” in Libya, where Black migrants are sold by locals after being captured on their way to Europe. Despite a process of institutional denunciation of the mistreatment suffered by migrants that had begun that spring, public reaction was unprecedented.[6] Within hours, the French media went from indifference to outrage. Several rallies were organized across France. In Paris, on November 18, more than a thousand people responded to a call from the Collectif Contre l’Esclavage et les Camps de Concentration en Libye (CECCL) (Collective Against Slavery and Concentration Camps in Libya) in front of the Libyan embassy.

In light of these events, the social debates around anti-Blackness in the so-called “Arab world” and in France’s Maghrebian communities have been renewed. With social media as its main arena, the controversy that reverberated in the decolonial antiracist milieu revolved around the political responsibility of non-Black North Africans in France to denounce anti-Black racism in Arab countries. This controversy had two main implications for our anti-racist field. On the one hand, it raised questions about the practical means of taking action to demonstrate anti-racist solidarity in a diasporic context, following events that involved violence in the South covered by Western media. And on the other, it raised the issue of how organizations should address Islamophobia, anti-Arabness, and anti-Blackness in France. The debate centered around whether non-Black Maghrebians had a specific political responsibility to denounce anti-Blackness in the countries of the so-called “Arab world,” despite their socialization in France.

“We’ve got Arab Tears” 

The first stance by activists was to argue that anti-racist activists had a duty to politically condemn events in Libya, notably through collective and organizational means. They put forward two arguments. The first was ethno-racial, due to an enduring “communitarian” Maghrebian anti-Blackness on both sides of the Mediterranean. The second was ideological, invoking the coherence of anti-racist beliefs and the noirabiealliance in the fight against racism in France and imperialism on the African continent. In this case, the appeal to so-called “Arab” communities was seen as a means of initiating a process of recognizing and addressing “Arab” anti-Blackness at a glocal level, while building a sustainable alliance between communities across all territorialities. Despite the publication on social media of the statement “Nord AfricainEs contre la Négrophobie et l’Esclavage” (North Africans against Anti-Blackness and Slavery[7]), initiated by two dozen anonymous non-Black Maghrebian activists involved in intersectional feminist movements, the absence of a comparable initiative from an established anti-racist collective composed mainly of people of Maghrebian origin was perceived at the time as a communitarian-level empathetic disregard for Black subjectivities, revealing the Arab-centrism underpinning their political agenda.

This controversy led most Black activists involved in feminist circles (who had an Afrocentric identification and who at the time of the controversy were part of a Black gender-minority-only collective) to view the noirabiealliance as superficial. They shifted to favoring a rapprochement with other Afrocentric movements outside the decolonial milieu. In our sample, 5 out of 8 women who claimed to be Afro-feminists were concerned about this issue, including Safia and Zanouba. These grievances were not, however, a reason for breaking the “thick” minority alliance for activists evolving within racially mixed collectives or who were not (solely) organizationally attached to the feminist movement at the time of the controversy.

This position was shared by the vast majority of women in our sample who were racialized as Arabs in France,most of whom were involved in feminist movements, which echoed trends observed on social networks. It was also embraced by the majority of men in our sample, most of whom were sensitive to intersectional/ decolonial feminist perspectives. Three of them also declared their support for the Pan-African continental project.However, those who were born or socialized in France at a very young age expressed strong concerns about their concrete means of action and their legitimacy to “call out” their so-called “counterparts” on the continent, due to their Western status and the feeding of potential imperialist ambitions. Although their concrete actions did not go beyond participating in protests and writing op-eds, this second group fostered empathetic receptivity to Black grievances, as well as political condemnation of anti-Blackness at the microsociological level.

“Not in My Name”

By contrast, other activists saw calling out the Maghrebian communities to condemn racism in North Africa, despite their socialization on French soil, as an unfair blame game. Again, two rationales have been put forward. The first was the disapproval of an essentialist and decontextualized rhetoric similar to that in use by the dominant social group for Islamophobic purposes. In our sample, this position was embodied on the North African side by Younes, previously mentioned, and Nabil, 32-years-old and of Kabyle Algerian origin who arrived in France at the age of 6 during the décennie noire, the Algerian civil war.[8] Younes was involved in a collective that aimed to support the interests of all descendants of colonized people, and Nabil was involved in an organization addressing police brutality. Two Black female activists also held this position: Awa, 30, of Senegalese Muslim origin, involved in a collective fighting against police brutality and racial profiling who grew up in Marseille, and Audrey, 21, of Afro-Guadeloupean and Senegalese Christian origin, who grew up in a Paris banlieue, identified as Afro-feminist and a part of a college non-White student organization. Without denying anti-Blackness within North African communities, or the need to remedy it at a communitarian and inter-minority level, these activists also disapproved of a method which, by relying on the specific public statements of North Africans as a social group, would ultimately lead to their stigmatization in the French context.

The second line of reasoning viewed this interpellation as a false moral quarrel, ill-suited to effectively ending the issue, which for some would have required pressuring the embassies of each African Union country member and European Union institutions that are directly tied to the externalization of European borders that was set in motion by Frontex and the Khartoum process in 2014. Here, the ability to act and, de facto, the potential blame for inaction, were considered to be shared regardless of one’s positionality on the noirabiespectrum, as long as one holds a French, EU, or African passport. Among interviewees, this viewpoint was represented by Adama, 26, of Senegalese Muslim origin, involved at the time in social justice campaigns related to student communities and his working-class neighborhood of origin, and to a lesser extent by Mamadou, 38, of Malian Muslim origin, involved in collectives related to working-class banlieue communities and police brutality, who advocated a more humanistic “de-ethnicization” of the debates.[9]  Moreover, while the Black activists seeing the interpellation as illegitimate also considered some anti-racist organizations, mainly composed of North Africans, as Arab-centric, none of them felt that way in their own collective, whether related to the student world, local working-class banlieue communities, or police brutality.


 In exposing some of the contemporary interplay between Islamophobia and anti-Blackness in the battle for the display of solidarity, the oblique noirabie gaze helped further reflect on the conditions surrounding the (im)possibility of subverting race from below within a contentious and contested glocal emancipatory framework. The Parisian crossroads provides valuable insights to better understand ethno-racial projections seeking globalization. Far from being left behind, ethnicity is also struggling, operating both within and outside the frameworks imposed on it, while once divisive projections, such as North Africa, are also revisited, this time as a deliberate, if delicate, line of connection.

My examination highlights the polemical character and instability of these borderings, along with the very lively nature of their inhabitants. It encourages scholars to take seriously the oblique vision and the embedding of epistemological dialogue with “the South.” While revealing that interracial boundaries were problematized as thicker among Afro-feminists involved in a Black gender-minority-only collective (which calls for further investigation) the controversy dynamically highlighted the tensions, overlaps, and aporias between post-slavery and post-colonial regimes of subjectification. The increasing iterations of this epistemic tension establishes it as one of the major issues of our time and a key challenge for the future of anti-racist alliances with anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist ambitions.


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Allen, Chris. 2010. Islamophobia. Farnham, Burlington: Ashgate.

El Tayeb, Fatima. 2011. European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Essed, Philomena. 1991. Understanding Every-Day Racism. London: Sage.

Hajjat, Abdellali, and Marwan Mohammed. 2016. Islamophobie. Comment les élites françaises fabriquent le “problème musulman.” Paris: La Découverte.

Hannoum, Abdelmajid. 2001. Colonial Histories, Postcolonial Memories: The Legend of the Kahina, a North African Heroine. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Studies in African Literature.

Hannoum, Abdelmajid. 2021. The Invention of the Maghreb: Between Africa and the Middle East. Cambridge: University Printing House.

Mc Kittrick, Katherine. 2021. Dear Science and Other Stories. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. 2003. Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Leveau, Rémy, and Khadija Mohsen-Fina. 2013. Les Musulmans de France et d’Europe. Paris: CNRS Éditions.

Quisay, Walaa. 2023. Neo-traditionalism in Islam in the West: Orthodoxy, Spirituality and Politics, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Rajina, Fatima. 2022. “Underclass in Purdah: Britain’s Never-Changing Relationship with its Asian Muslims and the Creation of the Asian Muslim.” Discover Society: New Series 2 (2). https://doi.org/10.51428/dsoc.2022.02.0004.

Sayad, Abdelmalek. March 1975. “El Ghorba: Le mécanisme de reproduction de l’émigration. Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales 1 (2): 50–66.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 1999. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Book.

Vaziri, Parisa. September 2021. “No One’s Memory: Blackness at the Limits of Comparative Slavery.” Project on Middle East Political Science 44: Racial Formations in Africa and the Middle East: A Transregional Approach. 14–19.

[1] See Solène Brun’s contribution in this collection for a pioneering example.

[2] In the French context, see for example the influential work of Colette Guillaumin.

[3] Maghrebian in the French context came to encompass all people of Algerian, Moroccan, and Tunisian origins, i.e., former North African colonial French possessions, regardless of their ethnicity. For a history of the discourse surrounding this category in the French context see for example the work of Abdelmajid Hannoum.

[4] Following the evolution of the decolonial milieu after the CNN controversy and the collapse of his collective, which aimed at supporting the interests of all postcolonial subjectivities, Ezra has however embraced more Afrocentric views.

[5] “Noirabie” is a concept originally crafted by Melissa Glovert, of Afro-Guyanese and Chaoui-Algerian origins, to creatively speak of her own experience and articulate her political and artistic referents, notably inspired by the surrealist poet’s publishing house “Arabie-sur-Seine”. Noirabie is a concept that emerged under the pen of Mélissa Glovert, now in her thirties, of Afro-Guyanese and Chaoui-Algerian origins, from the working-class north banlieue of Paris. Through it, she intends to creatively express her own “noirabe” experience, and articulate with the particle “sur-seine” her various sources of political and artistic inspiration, which include the surrealist poets’ publishing house “Arabie-sur-Seine”. The different uses Melissa makes of it can be found on her blog : https://verrederegles.tumblr.com/ and her Instagram page @noirabie.sur.seine.  From 2010 to 2015, her semantic universe spread in the Paris region to militant anti-racist “decolonial” circles. It was appropriated by various activists to capture and spatialize the experiences of people from Maghrebian, West African and Afro-Caribbean post-colonial migrant backgrounds, grouped together in the floating signifier “les Noirs et les Arabes” (Blacks and Arabs), which itself spread notably across French society from the Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré Affair and the “urban revolts” of 2005 onwards. When I began to familiarize myself with the movement in September 2016, it was then widely in circulation and invoked above all links of affective and experiential proximities. If at the time of my investigation between 2016-2018 the term “noirabie” had circulated and been appropriated by other Black and Maghrebian activists to designate the “Les Noirs et les Arabes” community of experience, it is important to emphasize that its emergence and initial conceptualization precedes this use. To my knowledge, it has been less mobilized since the controversy.


[6] In April 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) called attention to these markets. In June, the IOM reported to the United Nations cases of torture of sequestered migrants in order to collect money from the victims’ families. Five months later, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported on the “deplorable conditions” in which migrants were detained, citing cases of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Numerous NGOs have also denounced the European Union’s complicity in “human rights violations committed against migrants and refugees in Libya,” pointing to the “outsourcing of European border management” notably through the implementation of the “Khartoum process” which, since November 2014, contracts out the management of migrants heading for Europe.

[7] Published in Quartiers Libres, November 27, 2017.  https://quartierslibres.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/nord-africaines-contre-la-negrophobie-et-lesclavage/

[8] Kabyle is an Amazigh ethno-linguistic group originated in the Djurdjura and Soummam régions.

[9] Following the controversy, Adama decided to leave the decolonial and student militant milieu to redirect all his energy to his local community.