Contemporary artist Massinissa Selmani's installation 1000 Socialist Villages (2015) explores how a rural land distribution and urban planning initiative in Algeria known as “1000 Socialist Villages” dissipated into rumor. The analysis relies on Djaffar Lesbet's first-hand accounts of and extensive research on the 1000 Socialist Villages, as his archives and his testimony were crucial to Selmani's artistic research process. Through close reading of Selmani's aesthetic references to the classic school notebook used during the socialist period in Algeria (1965–1979) and by drawing on Karima Lazali and Daho Djerbal's work on literature and history Algeria, the paper argues that Selmani's installation portrays the unstable character of historiography in Algeria in the post-Liberation period, thereby challenging positivist approaches to decolonial reparation.

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