The 8th of May, 1945 - Tragedy in North Africa
Photograph by Abed Abidat
Text by Jean-Louis Planche
"Mémoire des Hommes" series ("Men's Memories")
Photographic report, black and white pictures
144 pages - 72 photographs
Size: 26 x 26 cm (10.2 x 10.2 inches)
On the 8th of May, 1945. To celebrate the victory of the Allies over the Nazis, a peaceful public demonstration was organized by the Algerian people with the agreement of the colonial authorities in the towns of Setif, then in Guelma, east of Algeria. Demonstrations took a tragic turn. The murderous attack launched by the French army and the colonial militia against the rebellion of the Algerian Nationalists escalated quickly, and lasted several weeks. Amongst the Europeans, there were a hundred dead people and as many injured one. The number of native casualties is still debated today. Historians speak of between 18 000 and 45 000 victims...
The photographer went on a trip to explore the east part of Algeria, to meet people who could testify of those massacres. Jean-Louis Planche brings the historical context.