Film adds a French perspective to ICS series

For Immediate Release:  March 30, 2015

BLOOMSBURG— Yahya Laayouni, assistant professor of Arabic and French, provides a different cultural perspective to Bloomsburg University’s Institute of Culture and Society, Great War Series.

Following a screening of “Black and White in Color,” Laayouni will lead the discussion, “France in the Great War,” bringing into question the ways in which World War I is remembered. The screening of the film and discussion will be held on Thursday, April 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Centennial Hall 239.

The film focuses on French colonists in Africa, who after finding themselves at war with Germany, decide that they must fight the Germans as an act of duty to their nation. Recruiting local colonized African natives, the French colonists begin issuing boots and rifles while attempting to teach the locals to be good soldiers. After great difficulties, a young French geographer decides to stick to another rationale, taking over the local war movement.

The film demonstrates how often people forget about the thousands of people that were forced into World War I from surrounding colonies, just because they happen to be colonized. During his discussion, Laayouni will highlight the manner in which these individuals were forced to defend regimes who were oppressing, torturing and dehumanizing them.

Laayouni’s research focuses on manifestations of identity in French and Maghreb cinema. He is currently conducting research on colonial and postcolonial theory and Orientalism. At BU, Laayouni teaches Arabic and French language and culture.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

ICS Great War Centennial Series

  • Tina Entzminger, professor of English, and students, poster presentations and discussion, “Hemingway and the Great War,” Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m., Centennial Hall 239
  • Nogin Chung, associate professor of art and art history, and students, student colloquium “The Great War and Modernism in the Visual Arts,” Friday, April 24, at 11 a.m., Centennial Hall 239

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.