Elle est ou notr a venir?


The spelling is wrong, another illustration of our trilingual illiteracy, but the question remains valid. “Where is our future?” it says. I took the below picture in Bejaia, and next to that wall were sitting five or six young men, in their twenties. They played with their mobile phones and commented on the girls who passed by.
If they’re not the authors of the question, they do not have the answer. I wonder if they’re looking for one. IMG187-01I started this post many weeks ago but I didn’t know what to say, I mean something that wouldn’t have been said many times elsewhere. The problems are known to all of us, their causes too. Some of the solutions are also known but nobody seems to want to implement them. Is it because they are too complex? Or too expensive? Or is it just that these young men are the Small Cells I mentioned here, and the Big Cells do not care?

As often, the blame cannot be put on the government alone. A big share certainly falls on the Algerian rulers, but the people themselves, including these young men and their parents, their teachers and their neighbours, are all responsible. Even the West is responsible…

But saying so doesn’t move us an inch towards a solution.

Algeria is an emerging country… I actually question this classification. We have a growth rate similar to that of Old Europe and I don’t see what makes us an emerging country, besides our consumerism and the few things we have thanks to oil revenues. I restart then.
Algeria is a young country lacking much of the necessary infrastructure, lacking a structure. There are so many things to do to build it. This should be a project, a challenging, an exciting and an interesting one. A project that should motivate all of us, because it’s one to improve our lives and make us feel proud of ourselves (you know our nif). A project that would give a meaning to our lives. A project that would build our individual and collective future.

I feel I’ve repeated this so many times in this blog. I believe there is no alternative. It is of course possible for each of us to work hard, to raise our children in the best possible ways, to be honest citizens, etc. And many do that. But these people are a minority and are isolated. Their effort is often cancelled by the absence of effort from other people, the majority.

Most of our people today think of their personal interests; they do not care about what happens to their houma, their city or their country. Even those who want to do something are deterred. I don’t know about you but I have heard so many times people say to those who work hard to improve things, “why are you working hard, you’re not going to build/fix the country!” And many of those who do nothing, when they do not misbehave, say, “they didn’t wait for me to break the country, it’s broken already”.

My idea of a national project means it cannot be carried by a few individuals. It also means a leadership is needed. We obviously lack this.
Looking at what is proposed today, I quickly dismiss all the political parties as they have no projects. They do not even try to fake one. 1, 2, 3 viva l’Algerie and “Islam is the solution” are not projects.

Then I looked at Fodil Boumala’s 2nd republic but I see nothing concrete coming out of it. He’s active online getting more and more fans on his page (this may actually be his project) and he travels around the country to give conferences but he concentrates too much on politics and I am allergic to projects carried by one individual.

Benbitour, whom I mentioned here, is interesting but his project seems to revolve around economics and I believe this is not our major issue. And like Boumala, it seems like he’s the only one able to implement his project. I heard he said he would be a candidate for the next presidential elections. Needless to say this is going to be a failure.

Nabni is something different. The first difference is that you find a group behind it, and their project tackles many aspects going from economics to education and governance. The problem with this think-tank (because this is what it is in my opinion) is that it has little influence today. It suggested 100 items to work on in 2011 and as far as I know none has been considered by the government, I guess even the useless political parties didn’t look at their report. And last week, they made another report for the 2012 to 2020 period, but I haven’t seen any feedback on the 100 items… So it’s like they are suggesting things and moving on without checking the effect (non-effect) of their previous proposals. Also, I hope they do not have a hidden objective like we’ve seen with so many Algerian groups…

So are we doomed like algerianna says sometimes? I prefer to be positive and say no, but I am giving no solution and my national project concept cannot be implemented today with all the parasites running/ruining the country …

We are doomed.

9 thoughts on “Elle est ou notr a venir?

  1. Well I was going to say why end on such a negative note and then I realized that it is me who often say ‘We are doomed’!! As for the grammatical mistake, I prefer to see in it a prophesy, and it is that the future lies in the hand of our women if they get their act together. I believe that our men are too defeatist and too pessimistic, too selfish too. Women tend to have a more lenient mindset, more persevering attitude (cultural conditionning has a lot to do with it). We might be able to turn what might be considered as a set-back into an advantage.

    Dream on I hear you say.

    • No, I actually encourage you!
      It is good to know that nothing is expected from us ‘men’. We’ve been carrying this burden (I know I am exaggerating) but nobody told us that there was no point in insisting, given our very nature.
      I am sure most men will be happy to see (or watch) the women building our future. Please go ahead and begin the work.

  2. Oh, MnarviDZ, why so down! Where’s the silver lining 🙂

    Derrida noted once that there are two types of future: the ‘a venir’, the acoming, the close future, and the ‘futur’, the furthest away. I’ll choose to see in it, as Algerianna, a kind of prophesy, at least the writer is looking for something not too far to come, it shows no defeatism in his/her life time, maybe…

    I don’t think DZ is doomed, it’s just going to take many a generation before things start going in a positive direction, as long a time as it took every other nation to fix itself. I think part of the problem is this, the question of the nation-state, which was born under colonisation and was adopted whole after it. The concept of nation-state was swallowed unquestioningly, it doesn’t, or didn’t, fit the Algerian mesh or net.

    To me, that’s the core of the hindrance, we’re working within the wrong frame and the wrong definition of our political and social selves.

    • it’s just going to take many a generation before things start going in a positive direction, as long a time as it took every other nation to fix itself.

      NG, you think this is a sign of optimism? 🙂

      The nation-state is a broad topic which, I believe, cannot be tackled at Algeria’s level alone. I mean if we want to rethink this, we would need at least to include our neighbours, including those on the South.
      But I think it is one among many things to look into if we want to change our present into a positive future.

  3. Mnarvi sees in this graffiti a manifestation of the trilingual illiteracy of algerians (that was bilingual few years ago and, alhamdoullilah, has been improved thanks to the amazigh activism), Algerianna sees it as an annoucement of the desirable advent of women era (ya latif, bdaw 3alamaat assa3a).
    It is a characteristic of the piece of arts to be polymophous by lending themselves to the subjective interpretation of the observers.
    Sorry to tell you Mnarvi, but IMHO, after you gave your interpretation of this art work, you diverged significantly from the core subject by talking about problems… solutions… Benbitour… I believe more and more that if things were as simple as identifying the problems, finding the solutions and implementing them, even Bouteflika would have suceeded in bringing Algeria to a weathy and modern era.
    This art work is not about economy and politics. It asks a question. It is not wondering WHAT is our future ? HOW to reach it ? It asks WHERE is our future ? You never ask WHERE is something if it is here. By cleaverly not answering the question, the artist does not close it by a list of possible answers (paradise, hell or behind the see…) but all what he wants to say is that future is not here. This Basquiat’s-like modern calligraphy summarizes a period of deep pessimism. An era in the life of a society is not defined by a flow of events. It is defined by the kind of questions it asks itself.

    • Chatnoir, it is an interesting way of looking at it. And I agree that such questions illustrate the deep pessimism of our people.

      I admit I didn’t think of the above as an artwork but I am not against the idea.
      This is how I looked at it. The artist, as you say, asks where our future is. It may indeed mean that it is not there, or just that he cannot see it. Another option is that not only the future is there but many many futures are there and the artist asks where it is only because he doesn’t like the future(s) he sees.

      And I thought the answer may be to tell the artist (and the people) where to look in order to see a future he likes. Doing so means not only showing the direction but also describing this future (answering the what question) and suggesting ways to reach it (the how question). I may be wrong but I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to look for a future without wanting to achieve it.
      So this is why I looked at what (projects or futures) people are proposing today.

  4. I’ve often wanted to see some Algerian science fiction. If we can’t figure out how to build “notr a venir”, maybe we can at least start by imagining what we want it to look like? (And surely we can come up with something better than “a slightly time-delayed copy of Paris/Riyadh”…)

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