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257.01 War > Algerian War of Independence (1950s)
The wars against the French colonial authority of Algeria from the 1950's onwards by the FLN (Front de Liberation Nationale) were brutal guerrilla attacks with reprisals from the French forces, Algerians who fought for the colonial power (the harkis) and their local supporters - the FLN wanted greater independence from France and when they failed to get it they sought recognition from the UN. The conflict of the 1950's in the casbah of Algiers was re-enacted for the remarkable 1967 film The Battle of Algiers directed by the Italian director, Gillo Pontecorvo. The film did not use any documentary footage but has the look and feel of one - there are a large number of places in the film where a single frame could be extracted and enlarged to become an award winning photograph for a photojournalist.
After years of vicious slaughter on both sides independence was declared finally on 5 July 1962 and this was followed by the exit of upto a million inhabitants who fled the country - many going to France.
Raymond Depardon in the 1960s covered the Algerian War and fulfilled his military service as a photographer for the French Ministry of Defense's newspapers.
Philip Jones Griffiths covered the war in the early 1960's.
Kryn Taconis, the only Dutchman to ever have been a member of the Magnum photo agency.
Interestingly Abbas (who uses only his first name professionally) was born in Iran but spent much of his childhood in Algeria during the Algerian War of Independence. He says that witnessing this conflict inspired him to become a photojournalist.