‘Metissage’: understanding racialisation in the history of regulating ‘mixture’ in France

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By Rébecca Franco, Euromix PhD Researcher, 15 April 2019

Poster from 1968 promoting anti-racism and solidarity with immigrant workers

Since the 1990s, ‘métissage’ [mixture] is often used in French public and political discourse as the ultimate end and means of the post-racial dream.[1] Métissage is a specifically French concept that is invoked to talk about the cultural and ‘ethnic’/‘racial’ mixing that is indicative of the integration of different (non-white) groups in the French national identity. At the same time, however, the French political and social dialogue is filled with concerns about the descendants of (post)colonial migrants, especially about the residents living in the marginalised suburbs known as the ‘banlieues’. These citizens have made political claims to redress racialized inequality. However, they have faced rejection by the government based on the argument that this reinforces particularistic notions of identity, which is in the French tradition of universal Republicanism seen as ‘unfrench’.

So what is going on here? In the country of ‘liberté, egalité et fraternité’, everyone is supposed to be equal.  So, racialized inequality is not seen as a valid basis of political claim-making. And yet, the descendants of the people whose labour and resources helped build the country are marginalised on the basis of racialized logics. Freedom is circumscribed, equality differentiated, and brotherhood conditional.

In this blog, I will go into the difficulties of understanding and talking about the role of ‘race’ and processes of racialisation in France. Through this, I explain and motivate my research on the regulation of ‘mixture’ at a time in which many (post)colonial immigrants moved into France.

The banlieue

Let us first turn to the current situation of the descendants of postcolonial immigrants in France so to comprehend what is at stake. According to the decolonial intellectual Mbembe, the French state has refused to address the issue of ‘race’, while simultaneously engaging in practices of racialisation at multiple levels of society.[2] This becomes apparent in the issues surrounding the ‘banlieues’. The French marginalised suburbs are heavily populated by French citizens of African descent: some first generation, but many residents have been in France for multiple generations. The ‘banlieusard’ [the residents of the banlieue] is seen as ‘savage’ in the same way as was done in the colonies.[3] They are often cast aside as threats to the nation, as foreigners – although they are French citizens.

The residents of these urban zones have challenged amongst others racism, spatial marginality, racialized police brutality, and lack of opportunities,[4] as they fight for a place in postcolonial France.[5] Fed up with the marginalisation their (grand-)parents  have had to deal with, they struggle for recognition, dignity, and equality.

On the side of the state and ‘mainstream’ media, however, the banlieues are represented and discussed as a hotbed of crime, despair, and unrest. The problems in the banlieues are more often discussed as proxy of the problem of ‘immigrants’ than to address issues of residents. Accordingly, the urban zones are problematized as threats to national security, and policies have mostly revolved around repression rather than solutions.[6]  In response to the formations of group identities, government is concerned with what they call ‘communautarisme’ [pejorative term for ‘segregation’ based on group identity], as the residents are accused of refusing to integrate.[7]

Negating ‘race’

The French authorities and politicians often use this rejection of communautarisme as an argument to negate the particular experiences of marginalisation based on markers of identification, such as ‘race’ or ‘ethnicity’. Whereas the term only really gained currency in the 1990s – as the ‘dangerous’ alternative to métissage – it is today vilified for testifying as the rejection of French universalism.  In this same vein, ‘race’ or ‘ethnicity’ is not a legal category nor included in the census in France. The argument is based in the French Republican idea that universalism and equality are the integral tenants of French society.[8]

In an op-ed in response to the referendum in Switzerland on the banning of minarets in the newspaper ‘Le Monde’, the then-president Sarkozy asserted: ‘National identity is the antidote to tribalism and communautarisme. […] Métissage is the willingness to live together. Communautarisme is the choice to live separately.’[9] Whereas communautarisme is rejected, métissage is promoted as proof of French universalism. Through this, métissage indicates tolerance (on the side of the state/French society), while communautarisme indicates intolerance (on the side of the ‘other’). In both concepts, however, the historical dynamics of power, are negated, and so through this discourse the French state becomes absolved of responsibility.

The rejection of specific markers of identification, such as race, as a category of analysis, solidarity and political claim-making, then, becomes hazardous if we consider the ways in which they have played an essential role in the making of modern France. Accordingly, the politics of ‘colour-blindness’ has been criticized for negating the historical, institutional, and structural inequalities based on such markers of identification.[10]

So, how can we try to understand the processes of racialisation in the French context?

Researching race and mixture

The difficulties in understanding and researching racialisation in general, and France in particular, lies in the flexibility of the concept of ‘race’ itself. Stuart Hall has argued how ‘race’ is a floating signifier, as it has disparate meanings that can be activated in specific contexts. Similarly, ‘race’ can operate under covert signifiers that invoke ideas of race without enunciating them. Covert racialisation is not limited to the French context by any means. However, the French context in which the official narrative of France is that is has never ‘done’ race because of its investment in universalism, makes it ever the more important to consider the flexibility of race.

Critics of the French narrative of their exceptional equality and universalism have argued that ‘inassimilability’ was used as a covert for exclusion on ‘racial’ terms. This played a role under colonialism: subjects could in theory become citizens, if they were ‘evolved’ enough, spoke perfect French, and acted like ‘real Frenchmen’. In reality, this was close to impossible.[11] In this way, difference is evaluated against the universality of France.

In other words: France is seen as universal perfection. Everybody is equal, except if you cannot adhere to that French perfection: then, you are ‘inassimilable’, different, unequal (and can be colonized).

In this light, the (renewed) interest in métissage as a marker of integration and the goal of post-raciality warrants a closer examination. In French, unlike the English terms ‘miscegenation’ and ‘hybridity’, the notion of métissage indicates both ‘racial’/’ethnic’ mixture as cultural meanings of mixture (unsurprisingly, given the historical connection between assimilability in cultural terms and racialized exclusion). Whereas mixed couples are seen as a measure of integration, the concept métissage itself does not explicitly talk about race as it is made devoid of its biological meaning in today’s context.

Still, the regulation of ‘mixture’ and mixed relationships have played a central role in the creation of identities and in ordering society along these identities. ‘Mixture’ presupposes the existence of two different parts. So, the way in which ‘mixture’ of people is regulated can help show how boundaries are created and enforced. The regulation of ‘mixture’ as a way to create and regulate the native and the foreign, white and non-white, colonizer and colonized, has a long history. Reading this history back into its contemporary use can help understand why and how the investment in color blindness negates the state’s responsibility in racialized regulation of belonging.

History of ‘mixture’

Several scholars have looked at the ways in which mixture was regulated at different moments in French history across the French colonial field. In colonial times, the authorities promoted ‘mixed’ relationships when it was seen as a practical solution to men’s desire, but it became mostly vilified when scientific racism became popular at end of the 19th century. [12] ‘Mixed race’ children (metis) were seen by the authorities as unrooted and problematic, as the fear for a ‘monstrous metis’ as a rootless danger was perpetuated through art and literature. Interestingly, a decree in the 1930s for ‘metis’ in the colonies made ‘mixed race’ a condition to obtain French citizenship through that decree.[13]  This illustrates how the regulation of ‘mixture’ reveals the underlying racial logics of otherwise universalist jurisdiction (at least on paper). At the same time in the metropole, immigration was promoted only insofar as immigrants were deemed assimilable to the French in terms of having families with the French population.[14]

Just before independence in West Africa, Leopold Senghor, a Senegalese intellectual and later first president, used the concept of métissage to advocate for cultural hybridity as an alternative to nationalism. For multiple reasons that essentially revolved around the French government’s rejection of an equal federation with African states, the notion of métissage lost currency over the course of decolonization of West Africa.[15]

In France, research and discussion on ‘mixture’ only pops up again in the 1980s/1990s. These works and political discussions discuss the meaning of mixture in terms of integration of second-generation immigrants. Besides, the fear for ‘mariages blanc’ [white marriages, i.e. sham marriage for documents] made mixed (nationality) families and couples hypervisible.

Generally, regulatory practices and discourses depended on the specific ‘needs’ of the different authorities at that moment in time and space, which were not always cohesive. Tracing the histories of the regulation of ‘mixture’ shows a fragmented field of anxieties, regulations, and governmental practices that crafted, protected, and contested racialized categories and belonging. The discourse about métissage today, thus, is a continuation of the uncomfortable history, rather than a break from it.

There is, however, little literature and attention the regulation of ‘mixture’ in the period between WWII and the 1980s. During the 30 years of the trentes glorieuses (1945-1975), France underwent massive change. It transformed from an Empire to a modern European nation-state (although they still had and still have foreign territories). At the same time, many Northern Africans and Sub Saharan Africans moved into the French metropole, as they transformed from colonial subjects, to differentiated citizens, to postcolonial immigrants. Whereas this period is remembered as a time of open immigration, the regulation of immigration and belonging is more complex and fragmented. During this period, the postcolonial borders of contemporary France were crafted. Research into the regulation of mixture during this time can help understand how racialisation played a role. Accordingly, it can contribute to a more critical understanding of the contemporary discussion on métissage, communautarisme, and belonging of the descendants of postcolonial immigrants.

Conclusion

If today métissage is seen as an unproblematic solution, then political claims based on racialisation are rejected and the responsibility of the state is negated. Since talking about ‘race’ is seen as ‘unfrench’, and therefore explicit measures to tackle the issue of racism is seen as ‘unfrench’, then perhaps we need to open up the narrow way in which the role of ‘race’ and racialisation in French history today is remembered and understood.

Research on the historical regulation of ‘mixture’ is a fruitful line of inquiry because it can help reveal how the boundaries have been created, maintained and contested. Reading the history of the regulation of ‘mixture’ back in to today’s discussions can help understand the false dichotomy between métissage and communautarisme, as processes of racialisation become apparent.

[1] Whereas in my research, I favor the concept ‘interracialized intimacies’ to mixture, in this blog I use the term mixture because this is the term used in the archives. Interracialized intimacies indicates the process of racialization inherent in the designation of some intimacies as ‘mixed’.

[2] Mbembe, A. (2009). Figures of multiplicity: can France reinvent its identity? In C Tshimanga D. Gondola and P. Bloom eds. Frenchness and the African Diaspora: Identity and Uprising in Contemporary France, Bloomington: Indiana University Press

[3] Mbembe, A. (2005). La République et sa Bête : À propos des émeutes dans les banlieues de France. Africultures, 65(4), 176-181.

[4]   Boubeker, A. (2013). The outskirts of politics: The struggles of the descendants of postcolonial immigration in France. French Cultural Studies, 24(2), 184–195. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957155813477797

[5] See for example the advocacy group ‘Les Indigenes de La Republique’ http://indigenes-republique.fr/

[6] Avenel, C. (2009). La construction du « problème des banlieues » entre ségrégation et stigmatisation. Journal français de psychiatrie, 34(3), 36-44. doi:10.3917/jfp.034.0036.

[7] Moran, M. (2017) Terrorism and the banlieues: the Charlie Hebdo attacks in context, Modern &Contemporary France, 25:3, 315-332, DOI: 10.1080/09639489.2017.1323199

[8]   Léonard, M. des N. (2014). Census and Racial Categorization in France: Invisible Categories and Color-blind Politics. Humanity & Society, 38(1), 67–88.

[9] See https://www.lemonde.fr/a-la-une/article/2009/12/08/pour-le-chef-de-l-etat-l-identite-nationale-est-un-antidote-au-communautarisme-par-nicolas-sarkozy_1277587_3208.html

[10] For example, see Stovall, T. E., & Van, . A. G. (2003). French civilization and its discontents: Nationalism, colonialism, race. Lanham: Lexington Books. Peabody, S., & Stovall, T. E. (2003). The color of liberty: Histories of race in France. Durham: Duke University Press.

[11] For archival research on this in West Africa, see Coquery-Vidrovitch, C. (2001). Nationalité et citoyenneté en Afrique occidentale français: Originaires et citoyens dans le Sénégal colonial. The Journal of African History, 42(2), 285-305

[12] White, O. (1999). Children of the French Empire: Miscegenation and Colonial Society in French West Africa 1895-1960. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[13] Saada, E. (2007). Les Enfants de la Colonie: Les metis de l’Empire francais entre sujéton et citoyenneté. Paris: La Découverte.

[14] Camiscioli, E. (2009). Reproducing the French Race: Immigration, Intimacy, and Embodiment in the Early Twentieth Century. London: Duke University Press

[15] Cooper, F. (2014). Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945-1960. Princeton University Press.

Le métissage: appréhender la racialisation dans l’histoire de la régulation de la  «mixité» en France

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Rébecca Franco, Euromix PhD Researcher, 15 avril 2019

Affiche datant de 1968, promouvant la lutte contre le racisme et la solidarité avec les travailleurs immigrés.

Depuis les années 1990, le métissage est souvent présenté dans le discours public et politique en France comme aspiration du rêve post-raciale.[1] Métissage est un concept spécifiquement français, qui est invoqué pour parler du mélange culturel et « ethnique » ou bien « racial ». Le métissage fonctionne comme indication de l’intégration de différents groupes (non blancs) dans l’identité nationale française.  Toutefois, en même temps, les descendants des migrants (post) coloniaux sont source d’inquiétude dans le dialogue politique et social français. En particulier, les habitants des banlieues marginalisées sont problématisés. Ces citoyens, de leurs côtés, ont exprimé des revendications politiques pour remédier aux inégalités racialisées. Cependant, ils ont fait face à un rejet du gouvernement, qui argumente que leurs revendications renforcent les notions d’identité particularistes. Ce qui, dans la tradition française du républicanisme universel, est perçu comme en contradiction avec la culture Française.

Que se passe-t-il ? Dans le pays de la liberté, de l’égalité et de la fraternité, tout le monde est censé être égal. Ainsi, les inégalités racialisées ne sont pas considérées comme une base valide de revendication politique. Et pourtant, les descendants du peuple dont le travail et les ressources ont contribué à construire le pays, sont marginalisés sur la base de logiques racialisées. La liberté est circonscrite, l’égalité différenciée et la fraternité conditionnelle.

Dans ce post, j’entrerai dans les difficultés et défis liés à appréhender le rôle de la « race » et des processus de racialisation en France. C’est ainsi que j’explique et motive mes recherches sur la régulation du « métissage » à une époque où de nombreux immigrants (post)-coloniaux s’installaient en France.

La banlieue

Examinons d’abord la situation actuelle des descendants d’immigrants postcoloniaux en France afin de comprendre les enjeux. Selon l’intellectuel décolonial Achille Mbembe, l’État français a refusé de s’attaquer au problème de la «race», tout en se livrant simultanément à des pratiques de racialisation à plusieurs niveaux dans la société.[2] C’est cela qui se manifeste dans les questions relatives aux banlieues. Les banlieues françaises marginalisées sont fortement peuplées par des citoyens français d’ascendance africaine : certains de première génération, mais nombreux sont en France depuis plusieurs générations. Le banlieusard [habitants dans la banlieue] est considéré comme “sauvage” au même titre que dans les colonies.[3] Il est souvent considérés comme des menaces pour la nation, en tant qu’étrangers – bien qu’ils soient citoyens français.

Les habitants de ces zones urbaines ont entre autres contesté le racisme, la marginalité spatiale, la brutalité policière racialisée et le manque d’opportunités. Cependant, ils défendent une place dans la France postcoloniale.[4] En ayant assez de la marginalisation à laquelle leurs (grands-) parents ont dû faire face, ils luttent pour la reconnaissance, la dignité et l’égalité.

Du côté de l’Etat et des médias ‘traditionnels’, les banlieues sont présentées et discutées comme un endroit synonyme au crime, désespoir et de troubles. Les problèmes rencontrés dans les banlieues sont plus souvent évoqués en tant que substituts du problème des «immigrants» plutôt que pour résoudre les problèmes des résidents. En conséquence, les zones urbaines sont considérées comme une menace pour la sécurité nationale et les politiques ont principalement été axées sur la répression plutôt que sur les solutions.[5] En réaction à la formation d’identités de groupe, le gouvernement s’intéresse à ce qu’ils appellent le «communautarisme» [terme avec connotation negatif pour une séparation sur la base de l’identité du groupe], car les résidents sont accusés d’avoir refusé de s’intégrer.[6]

Nier la racialisation

Les autorités et les hommes et femmes politiques français utilisent souvent ce refus du communautarisme comme un argument pour nier les expériences particulières de marginalisation fondées sur des marqueurs d’identification, tels que la «race» ou «l’ethnicité». Le terme n’était véritablement devenu courant que dans les années 1990 – en tant qu’alternative «dangereuse» au métissage. Aujourd’hui, le communautarisme est vu comme témoignage du rejet de l’universalisme français. Dans le même ordre d’idées, la «race» ou «l’origine ethnique» n’est pas une catégorie légale ni incluse dans le recensement en France. L’argument repose sur l’idée républicaine française selon laquelle l’universalisme et l’égalité font partie intégrante de la société française.[7]

Dans un éditorial publié en réponse au référendum organisé en Suisse sur l’interdiction des minarets dans le journal “Le Monde”, Sarkozy (le président à l’époque) a affirmé : « L’identité nationale c’est l’antidote au tribalisme et au communautarisme. […] Le métissage c’est la volonté de vivre ensemble. Le communautarisme c’est le choix de vivre séparément. »[8] Alors que le communautarisme est rejeté, le métissage est présenté comme une preuve de l’universalisme français. Par-là, le métissage indique la tolérance (du côté de l’État / de la société française), tandis que le communautarisme indique l’intolérance (du côté de «l’autre»). Dans les deux concepts, cependant, la dynamique historique du pouvoir est niée et, par conséquence, à travers ce discours, l’État français se dégage de toute responsabilité.

Si l’on considère la manière dont les marqueurs d’identification spécifiques – tels que la race – ont joué un rôle essentiel dans la construction de la France moderne, il devient alors hasardeux de les rejeter en tant que catégorie d’analyse et de revendication politique. En conséquence, on a reproché à la politique Française de nier les inégalités historiques, institutionnelles et structurelles fondées sur de tels marqueurs d’identification.[9]

Alors, comment pouvons-nous essayer de comprendre les processus de racialisation dans le contexte français ?

Recherches sur la racialisation et la mixité

Les difficultés liés à comprendre et étudier la racialisation en général, et la France en particulier, résident dans la flexibilité du concept de «race» lui-même. Stuart Hall a expliqué à quel point la «race» est un signifiant flottant, dans la mesure où il a des significations disparates, qui peuvent être activées dans des contextes spécifiques. De même, la «race» peut opérer sous des signifiants cachés qui invoquent des idées de race sans les énoncer. La racialisation secrète ne se limite nullement au contexte français. Cependant, le contexte français dans lequel le discours officiel de la France est tel que les logiques raciales n’a jamais fait partie de la politique et histoire française en raison de son investissement dans l’universalisme, rend de plus important de considérer le caractère flexible de la notion de la “race”.

Les analyses critiques de la narration française qui porte sur l’égalité et l’universalisme exceptionnelle ont affirmé que «l’inassimilabilité» était utilisée comme un moyen d’exclure sur des bases «raciales». Cela a joué un rôle sous le colonialisme : les sujets pouvaient théoriquement devenir citoyens, s’ils étaient suffisamment “évolués”, parlaient un français parfait et agissaient comme de “vrais Français”. En réalité, c’était presque impossible.[10] De cette manière, la différence est évaluée par rapport à l’universalité de la France.

En d’autres termes : la France est perçue comme une perfection universelle. Tout le monde est égal, sauf si vous ne pouvez pas adhérer à cette perfection française : vous êtes alors, « inassimilable», différent, inégal (et peut être colonisé).

Dans cette optique, l’intérêt (renouvelé) pour le métissage en tant que marqueur d’intégration et objectif de la post-racialité mérite un examen plus approfondi. En français, contrairement aux termes anglais «miscégenation» et «hybridity», la notion de métissage désigne à la fois le mélange «racial» / «ethnique» comme signifiant culturel du mélange (cela n’est pas surprenant, étant donné le lien historique entre l’assimilabilité en termes culturels et l’exclusion raciale).  Alors que les couples mixtes sont vus comme une mesure de l’intégration, le concept de métissage ne parle pas explicitement de la race car elle est dépourvue de signification biologique dans le contexte actuel.

Reste que la régulation de la «mixité» et des relations mixtes ont joué un rôle central dans la création d’identités et dans l’organisation de la société en fonction de ces identités. Le «mélange» présuppose l’existence de deux parties différentes. Ainsi, la manière dont la «mixité» de personnes est régulé peut aider à montrer comment les frontières sont créées et appliquées. La régulation de la «mixité» comme moyen de créer et de réguler les indigènes et les étrangers, blancs et non blancs, colonisateurs et colonisés, a une longue histoire. La relecture de cette histoire dans son utilisation contemporaine peut aider à comprendre pourquoi et comment l’investissement dans une politique universaliste annule la responsabilité de l’État en matière de régulation racialisée de l’appartenance.

Histoire de la “mixité”

Plusieurs chercheurs ont examiné la manière dont le mélange était régulé à différents moments de l’histoire française à travers le champ colonial français. À l’époque de la colonisation, les autorités préconisaient des relations «mixtes» lorsque c’était perçu comme une solution pratique au désir des hommes, mais il s’agissait surtout de mépris lorsque le racisme scientifique devint populaire à la fin du XIXe siècle.[11] Les autorités ont estimé que les enfants «métis» posaient problème, de même que la peur du «métis monstrueux» en tant que danger sans racines et déclassés était perpétuée par l’art et la littérature. Il est intéressant de noter qu’un décret des «métis» dans les colonies datant des années 1930 faisait de la «métisse» la condition pour obtenir la nationalité française par le biais de ce décret.[12] Cela montre comment la réglementation de la «mixité» révèle les logiques raciales sous-jacentes d’une juridiction par ailleurs universaliste (au moins sur le papier). En même temps, en métropole, l’immigration n’était promue que dans la mesure où les immigrants étaient assimilables aux Français en termes de fonder des familles.[13]

Juste avant l’indépendance en Afrique de l’Ouest, Léopold Senghor, intellectuel puis premier président sénégalais, a utilisé le concept de métissage pour plaider en faveur de l’hybridité culturelle comme alternative au nationalisme. Pour des raisons multiples essentiellement liées au rejet par le gouvernement français d’une fédération d’égalité avec les États africains, la notion de métissage a perdu de sa valeur au fil de la décolonisation de l’Afrique de l’Ouest.[14]

En France, les recherches et les discussions sur le «mélange» ne sont apparues que dans les années 1980/1990. Ces travaux et discussions politiques discutent de la signification du mélange en termes d’intégration des immigrants de deuxième génération. En outre, la crainte des «mariages blancs» rendait particulièrement visibles les familles et les couples mixtes (de nationalité).

En règle générale, les pratiques et les discours en matière de réglementation dépendent des «besoins» spécifiques des différentes autorités à ce moment-là dans le temps et dans l’espace, lesquels n’étaient pas toujours cohérents. Retracer les histoires de la réglementation de la «mixité» montre un champ fragmenté d’anxiétés, de réglementations et de pratiques gouvernementales qui ont créé, protégé et contesté des catégories racialisées et leur appartenance.

Le discours sur le métissage d’aujourd’hui est donc une continuation de l’histoire inconfortable, plutôt qu’une rupture.

Il existe cependant peu de littérature et d’attention sur la réglementation de la “mixité” entre la Seconde Guerre mondiale et les années 1980. Au cours des trente glorieuses (1945-1975), la France a connu une transformation considérable. Elle est passée d’un empire à un État-nation européen moderne (bien qu’ils aient toujours des départments d’outre mer). Simultanément, de nombreux Nord-Africains et Africains subsahariens se sont installés dans la métropole française, passant de sujets coloniaux à citoyens différenciés en immigrés postcoloniaux. Alors que cette période est considérée comme une période d’immigration ouverte, la réglementation de l’immigration et de l’appartenance nationale est plus complexe et fragmentée. Pendant cette période, les frontières postcoloniales de la France contemporaine ont été tracées. La recherche sur la régulation de la mixite pendant cette période peut aider à comprendre comment la racialisation a joué un rôle. En conséquence, cela peut contribuer à une compréhension plus critique de la discussion contemporaine sur le métissage, le communautarisme et l’appartenance nationale des descendants des immigrants postcoloniaux.

Conclusion

Si aujourd’hui le métissage est considéré comme une solution, les revendications politiques fondées sur la racialisation sont rejetées et la responsabilité de l’État est écartée. Puisque parler de «race» est perçu comme «non français» et que, par conséquence  , les mesures explicites pour s’attaquer au problème du racisme sont perçus comme «non française», nous devons peut-être ouvrir la compréhension plutôt étroite par laquelle on conceptualise le rôle de  la «race» dans l’histoire française, et comment ce rôle est aujourd’hui rappelé et compris.

La recherche sur la réglementation historique de la «mixité» est une piste de recherche fructueuse, car elle peut aider à révéler comment les frontières ont été créées, maintenues et contestées. La lecture de l’histoire de la régulation de la « mixité» dans les discussions d’aujourd’hui peut aider à comprendre la fausse dichotomie entre métissage et communautarisme, à mesure que les processus de racialisation deviennent apparents.

[1] Alors que dans mes recherches, je privilégie le concept « d’intimités interracialisées » au « métissage » ou la « mixité », dans ce blog, j’utilise le terme « mixité » car il s’agit du terme utilisé dans les archives. Les intimités interracialisées indiquent le processus de racialisation inhérent à la désignation de certaines intimités comme «mixtes».

[2]Mbembe, A. (2009). Figures of multiplicity: can France reinvent its identity? In C. Tshimanga, D. Gondola and P. Bloom eds. Frenchness and the African Diaspora: Identity and Uprising in Contemporary France, Bloomington: Indiana University Press

[3] Mbembe, A. (2005). La République et sa Bête : À propos des émeutes dans les banlieues de France. Africultures, 65(4), 176-181.

[4] Boubeker, A. (2013). The outskirts of politics: The struggles of the descendants of postcolonial immigration in France. French Cultural Studies, 24(2), 184–195.
Le groupe ‘Les Indigenes de La Republique’ revendique les droits des ‘indigenes’, http://indigenes-republique.fr/

[5] Avenel, C. (2009). La construction du « problème des banlieues » entre ségrégation et stigmatisation. Journal français de psychiatrie, 34(3), 36-44. doi:10.3917/jfp.034.0036.

[6] Moran, M. (2017) Terrorism and the banlieues: the Charlie Hebdo attacks in context, Modern & Contemporary France, 25:3, 315-332, DOI: 10.1080/09639489.2017.1323199

[7] Léonard, M. des N. (2014). Census and Racial Categorization in France: Invisible Categories and Color-blind Politics. Humanity & Society, 38(1), 67–88

[8] , https://www.lemonde.fr/a-la-une/article/2009/12/08/pour-le-chef-de-l-etat-l-identite-nationale-est-un-antidote-au-communautarisme-par-nicolas-sarkozy_1277587_3208.html

[9] Par exemple: Stovall, T. E., & Van, . A. G. (2003). French civilization and its discontents: Nationalism, colonialism, race. Lanham: Lexington Books. et Peabody, S., & Stovall, T. E. (2003). The color of liberty: Histories of race in France. Durham: Duke University Press.

[10] Pour une recherche des archives en AOF : Coquery-Vidrovitch, C. (2001). Nationalité et citoyenneté en Afrique occidentale français: Originaires et citoyens dans le Sénégal colonial. The Journal of African History, 42(2), 285-305

[11] White, O. (1999). Children of the French Empire: Miscegenation and Colonial Society in French West Africa 1895-1960. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[12] Saada, E. (2007). Les Enfants de la Colonie: Les metis de l’Empire francais entre sujéton et citoyenneté. Paris: La Découverte.

[13] Camiscioli, E. (2009). Reproducing the French Race: Immigration, Intimacy, and Embodiment in the Early Twentieth Century. London: Duke University Press

[14] Cooper, F. (2014). Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945-1960. Princeton University Press.

 

Verstoring van de koloniale orde door een uitzonderlijk huwelijk?

read in English

door Betty de Hart, hoofdonderzoeker Euromix, 28 maart 2019

Eind negentiende eeuw, op 22 januari 1889 in Leiden, trouwde Oei Jan Lee met Christina van Wijk. Oei Jan Lee, of zoals hij genoemd wenste te worden, Johan Lee, was van Chinese afkomst, geboren in Nederlands-Indië (het tegenwoordige Indonesië). Zijn vrouw Christina was een witte, Nederlandse vrouw. Johan Lee had rechten gestudeerd aan de universiteit van Leiden, en in 1889 promoveerde hij op het onderwerp ‘Verantwoordelijkheid van de verkoper voor verborgen gebreken aan het goed’.[1] Het echtpaar had elkaar ontmoet via de vader van Christina, een onderwijzer bij wie Johan Lee logeerde. Na het huwelijk hadden ze een korte advertentie in de krant laten plaatsen om te bedanken voor de aandacht voor het huwelijk, zoals de gewoonte was voor echtparen uit die sociale klasse.

Hun huwelijk werd als een ‘gemengd’ huwelijk beschouwd. Dit is de populaire term om een ‘ge-interracialiseerd’ huwelijk aan te duiden: een huwelijk tussen partners van twee groepen die, door de samenleving in die specifieke tijd en plaats, worden beschouwd als behorende tot verschillende ‘rassen’. Met de term ge-interracialiseerd wordt geduid op de constructivistische/geconstrueerde, willekeurige manier waarop naar deze relaties en hun nakomelingen wordt verwezen, en wordt expliciet afstand genomen van het toekennen van een essentialistische betekenis daaraan.[2]

Geen respect voor het ‘witte ras’

Het huwelijk van Christina en Johan trok veel media-aandacht in Nederland en in de kolonie Nederlands-Indië. De koloniale pers was vooral geïnteresseerd omdat verwacht werd dat het koppel zich daar zou vestigen. Zo’n huwelijk tussen een vrouw die als  ‘Europees’ werd beschouwd en een man die, als Chinees, werd aangemerkt als een ‘vreemde oosterling’ werd niet alleen als zeldzaam of opmerkelijk beschouwd, maar ook als een bedreiging voor de koloniale raciale orde en juridische orde. Dit is wat het koloniale Bataviaansch Nieuwsblad schreef over het huwelijk, met een beschuldiging aan het adres van de vader van Christina:

Omdat een klein burger in Nederland door de uithuwelijking van zijn dochter aan een Chinees toont alle eerbied te hebben afgeschud voor zijn godsdienst, voor het blanke ras en het volk en de familie, waartoe hij behoort,(…) .[3]

Bron: Bataviaans Nieuwsblad, 9 March 1889. Commentaar op hoe Christina’s vader respect verloor voor zijn religie, het ‘witte ras’ etc.   

Dit nieuwsbericht laat zien hoe dit gemengde huwelijk van een individueel paar werd beschouwd als een zaak van algemeen belang: het vernederde en bedreigde de positie van het geloof, het witte ras, en het volk. Het gebruikelijke vertoog in die tijd was dat een dergelijk huwelijk voor de witte vrouw geen keuze was, maar iets wat haar overkwam omdat ze naïef was, werd gekozen, of in dit geval, ‘uitgehuwelijkt’.[4]

Het hier geciteerde fragment was een reactie op een eerder commentaar van een vertaler van het Chinees, P. Meeter, in de Javabode, die het huwelijk toejuichte als het bewijs dat de Chinezen ‘niet vervielen tot hetzelfde niveau als de inlanders’, zoals sommigen beweerden. Onder het kopje ‘Europeaan of Chinees?’ stelde Meeter Johan Lee in een positief daglicht: Lee was niet alleen getrouwd met een ‘Nederlandse dame’, hij had daarnaast rechten gestudeerd en naturalisatie aangevraagd.[5]

Hoewel dit misschien positief klinkt, geloofde Meeter in een raciale hiërarchie waarin de ‘inlanders’ onderaan stonden. Hij gebruikte raciale taal bij het verbinden van Lee’s proefschrift aan zijn ‘Mongoolse afkomst’. Dit sluit aan bij de negatieve koloniale vertogen over de Chinese gemeenschap waarin zij werden afgeschilderd als op winst uit zijnde onderhandelaars die de zwakkere ‘inlanders’ uitbuitten.

Nederlands-Indië had een raciale hiërarchische orde die in de wet was vastgelegd. In 1848 introduceerde artikel 109 van de Regeringsverordening voor Nederlands-Indië een wettelijk onderscheid tussen ‘European en daarmee gelijken gelijkgestelden’ (Europeanen, Christenen en alle niet-inlaners), en ‘inlanders en daarmee gelijkgestelden’ (inlanders, Arabieren, Moren, Chinezen, Mohammedanen en heidenen).

Meeter besprak de vraag of Oei als ‘Chinees’ of als ‘Europeaan’ moest worden beschouwd. Het huwen van een ‘Nederlandse Dame’ of een ‘volbloed Hollands meisje’, zoals sommige media haar noemden[6], was niet het enige dat Johan Lee had gedaan om deze koloniale orde te verstoren: Lee eiste als gelijke te worden behandeld als een Europeaan, op verschillende manieren.

De juridische consequenties van het Chinees-zijn

Lee had in 1886, drie jaar voor zijn huwelijk, al een aanvraag ingediend voor het Nederlandse burgerschap, maar de aanvraag werd afgewezen. De Directeur van Justitie van Oost-Indië was van mening dat, hoewel het juridisch mogelijk was om Lee te naturaliseren, het indruiste tegen de ‘geest van de wet’ om personen van een ‘compleet ander ras’, met een ‘compleet andere manier van leven’ te naturaliseren. Een Chinees kon nooit de facto Nederlands worden, en het was in het belang van de kolonie om verschillende groepen uit elkaar te houden. De Minister van Koloniën, J.P. Sprenger van Eyk (1884-1888)[7] was het ermee eens dat het verzoek om naturalisatie moest worden afgewezen, omdat Lee nog steeds de status van ‘vreemde oosterling’ zou behouden. Naturalisatie zou leiden tot omzeiling van de andere beschikbare procedure, een individueel verzoek tot gelijkstelling aan aan Europeanen’.[8] Hoewel de Nederlandse regering nooit raciale criteria heeft vastgelegd in het nationaliteitsrecht (zoals de Verenigde Staten)[9], pasten zij raciale criteria zodoende wel toe in de uitvoeringspraktijk. Voor Chinezen zou naturalisatie dus problematisch blijven en het bleef daarom langere tijd onderwerp van het publieke debat.f[10]

De classificatie ‘Chinees’ had verschillende juridische consequenties in de koloniale orde. Aan Chinezen werden aparte woongebieden toegewezen, die onder toezicht stonden van Chinese leiders. Alleen in uitzonderlijke gevallen konden Chinezen wonen in de gebieden die voor Europeanen waren aangewezen, of waar de Indonesische bevolking woonde. In 1872 werd het Chinezen uitdrukkelijk verboden zich anders te kleden dan wat beschouwd werd als in overeenstemming met de Chinese ‘landaard’ (‘nationaal karakter’). Bovendien beperkte een wet uit 1863 de mobiliteit van Chinezen en ‘inlanders’ door middel van een verplicht pasjessysteem. De regels voor gescheiden woongebieden, alsook het pasjessysteem, bleven op zijn plaats tot 1919. Deze regels tonen aan hoezeer de raciale verschillen in de kolonie in feite vervaagd waren; het juridisch apart houden van de Chinezen was een manier om het rassenonderscheid openlijk en duidelijker te presenteren.[11]

Lee hield zich echter niet aan deze regels. In 1889, enkele maanden na zijn huwelijk, berichtten de kranten bijvoorbeeld dat hij een zitting van een lokale rechtbank had bijgewoond, ‘geheel als Europeaan gekleed’. De media vroegen zich af hoe de koloniale autoriteiten zouden reageren op deze schending van de kledingcodes.[12] Hij bekeerde zich daarnaast tot Christendom, wat ook door de kranten werd gerapporteerd.[13]

Bron: Algemeen Handelsblad, 21 April 1889. 

Waar hoorde een gemengd stel thuis?

Verondersteld kan worden dat deze regels ook van invloed zouden zijn op het leven van Lee’s vrouw Christina, hoewel dit nauwelijks werd genoemd. Het werpt de vraag op waar zij als gemengd stel zouden mogen leven, en hoe Christina zich moest kleden. Meeter vroeg zich ook af hoe het paar zou worden behandeld in de Indische maatschappij, en hoe zij het gefluister en gegiechel van ‘bepaalde Indische dames’ over hun ongewone verbintenis zou verdragen. Hij gaf aan dat ze zich als Europese vrouw ongemakkelijk zou voelen, als haar man zou worden verplicht zich als een Chinees te kleden.

Dit impliceert dat een Europese vrouw alleen geïnteresseerd zou zijn in een man die er Europees uitzag, met andere woorden, die zich voordeed als een Europeaan, zelfs als hij dat niet was. De verwijzing naar bepaalde ‘Indische dames’ is een verwijzing naar ras en gender: naar Europese vrouwen van gemengde afkomst die verantwoordelijk gehouden werden voor vooroordelen in de koloniale samenleving.[14]

De komst van Johan en Christina moet opschudding hebben veroorzaakt in de kolonie. Eén krant verzette zich tegen hun mogelijke behandeling als Europeanen, omdat Lee, naar hun mening, nog jong was en helemaal niets had gedaan om het algemeen belang te dienen. Het bericht vervolgde:

“Indien het genoeg ware om van Chinees tot Europeaan bevorderd te worden, dat men de Nederlandsche taal machtig is en een wetenschappelijke opleiding in Nederland genoten hebbe, das zou de door Oei Jan Lee gevraagde gelijkstelling een precedent opleveren, dat door tal van andere bemiddelde Chineezen zou worden aangegrepen.”[15]

De auteur beweerde dat het niet noodzakelijk was om de gevolgen hiervan te beschrijven, omdat die duidelijk waren voor iedereen bekend met de kolonie; men geloofde dat de regering het verzoek van Lee daarom zou weigeren.

Eindelijk Europees…

In 1891, twee jaar na het huwelijk, werd Lee’s verzoek tot gelijkstelling met Europeanen goedgekeurd.[16] In 1892 diende hij opnieuw een verzoek in voor Nederlands burgerschap. Tegen die tijd was hij werkzaam als advocaat bij het Indisch Hooggerechtshof. Deze keer werd zijn verzoek ingewilligd, nadat de Directeur van Justitie en de Raad van Indië een positief advies hadden uitgebracht. Zij concludeerden dat hij ‘niet teruggevallen’ was op de Chinese manier van leven, en dat hij, met inachtneming van zijn baan, zijn huwelijk met een Europese vrouw en sociale positie, als een Europeaan kon worden beschouwd. De naturalisatie bevestigde zo zijn reeds bestaande identiteit. Lee werd genaturaliseerd bij wet van 2 januari 1893 (St. 1893 no. 9). Niettemin werd hij beschouwd als een uitzondering die de regel bevestigde dat ‘vreemde oosterlingen’ niet genaturaliseerd konden worden. De naturalisatie van Chinezen bleef, ook in de jaren na Lee’s naturalisatie, nog een problematische kwestie.[17]

Uiteindelijk blijft de vraag of Lee met zijn daden de koloniale orde daadwerkelijk verstoord heeft. Hij bleef gezien worden als uitzondering, terwijl in het raciale juridische systeem in stand bleef tot aan de dekolonisatie.

Op een gegeven moment keerden Johan en Christina terug naar Nederland. Lee overleed in 1918 in Den Haag, Christina in 1941. Hun levensgebeurtenissen trokken niet langer de aandacht van de media. Het is echter waarschijnlijk dat hun leven als een  gemengd stel in Den Haag sterk beïnvloed werd door de geracialiseerde vertogen over Chinezen die tussen de koloniën en de metropool circuleerden. Het vertellen van hun verhaal, voor zover dat mogelijk is gebaseerd op de beschikbare bronnen, helpt te doorgronden hoe zij hierdoor beïnvloed werden, en hoe ze reageerden.

[1]  Lee, Oei Jan. Over de aansprakelijkheid des verkoopers voor de verborgen gebreken der verkochte zaak… JJ Groen, 1889.

[2]  Haritaworn, Jinthana. The biopolitics of mixing: Thai multiracialities and haunted ascendancies. Routledge, 2016.

[3] Bataviaans Nieuwsblad, 9 March 1889, Nederlandsch Indie.

[4] Laura Tabili (1996). Women “of a very low type”: crossing racial boundaries in imperial Britain. Gender and Class in Modern Europe, 165-90.

[5] Javabode 8 March 1889, Europeaan of Chinees?

[6] Nieuws van de Dag 23 January 1889.

[7] https://www.parlement.com/id/vg09lljhz8y4/j_p_sprenger_van_eyk#p.overig

[8] Tjiook-Liem, Patricia, De rechtspositie der Chinezen in Nederlandsch-Indië 1848-1942. Leiden University Press, 2009, p. 276-277. https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/13509/Tjiook+voor+PoD[1]-05.02.09.pdf?sequence=2 .

[9] Haney-López, Ian. White by law. 10th anniversary edition: The legal construction of race. NYU Press, 2006.

[10] Voor een historisch overzicht van de Nederlandse wet op het staatsburgerschap, zie: Heijs, Eric. Van vreemdeling tot Nederlander. De verlening van het Nederlanderschap aan vreemdelingen 1813-1992. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis, 1995.

[11] Shirahshi, T. (2011). AntiSinicism in Java’s New Order In D. Chirot, ‎A. Reid (eds) Essential Outsiders: Chinese and Jews in the Modern Transformation. Washington University Press, 187-207.

[12] Algemeen Handelsblad, 21 April 1889

[13] Maasbode 25 October 1889, De Mail uit Oost-Indië.

[14] Boudewijn, Petra. Warm bloed: de representatie van Indo-Europeanen in de Indisch-Nederlandse letterkunde (1860-heden). Uitgeverij Verloren, 2016.

[15] Rotterdamse courant, 24 april 1889.

[16] Staatsblad van Nederlandsch-indië, no. 221, 20 October 1891.

[17] Tjiook-Liem, Patricia, De rechtspositie der Chinezen in Nederlandsch-Indië 1848-1942. Leiden University Press, 2009, p. 276-277. https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/13509/Tjiook+voor+PoD[1]-05.02.09.pdf?sequence=2 .

 

‘Mixture’ in Italian Libya: Gaps in Academic Literature and Public Memory

leggi in italiano

by Andrea Tarchi, Euromix PhD Researcher, 14 January 2019

General Graziani leading a military column into the oasis of Cufra during the final stages of the pacification of Cyrenaica (1931, anonymous author).

During the final stages of the “pacification” of the Libyan resistance to the Italian colonial rule, on May 17, 1932, General Rodolfo Graziani sent a circular for the repatriation of four Italian soldiers from his seat of Vice-Governor of Cyrenaica (one of the three administrative divisions of modern-day Libya, alongside Tripolitania and Fezzan) in Benghazi. In the same document, the General addresses also an issue that he apparently regards as greatly important:

“This ‘mabruchismo’ [relations of concubinage between Italian men and Libyan women, from the Arabic expression to indicate women, mabrukah] is one of the plagues that infested the colony. There are still some traces of it, or better still some nostalgia of it, however I intend to eradicate it completely. That is because, beyond political considerations (I refer to all the speculations that the indigenous world loves to do in regard to our relationship to their women), the only disciplinary side of it is sufficient to condemn it and deprecate it.”

Circular 2935, May 17, 1932.[1]

One of the main architects of Fascism’s colonial policies in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, General Rodolfo Graziani was without a doubt the most trusted man by Mussolini in the military management of the Italian colonies. Nicknamed “the butcher of the Fezzan” because of his use of violence in the repression of the Libyan resistance, Graziani perfectly embodied the totalitarian political paradigm of Fascism, as he deeply believed in the hierarchical structures of power of the Fascist government and enforced its political will ruthlessly. What appears to be so relevant in this short excerpt of the circular is therefore the level of anxiety that such a key personality in the history of fascist colonialism attaches to the phenomenon of ‘mixed’ sexual relationships within the Libyan colonies.

But what was the real relevance of the phenomenon of ‘mixed’ relationships within the colonial world? Why is it so important to study its role within the Libyan context? This blog tries to answer these questions while underlying the reasons that brought me to start researching this topic and the hopes I have regarding the impact that such study could have on both the academic world and the Italian public debate over its colonial history.

Management of interracial sexuality in the academic literature

Far from being an isolated case, the management of sexuality in the colonies has always been one of the main points of concern for the European colonial elites in different parts of the world. Sexuality is in fact recognized as the fundamental field where differences of gender, race and class were constructed in the colonial political economy, while ‘mixture’ can be described as the very category that confuses such categories, therefore making their construction apparent. The many examples of research that has been conducted especially on the Dutch (Locher-Scholten[2], Stoler[3]), British (Levine[4]) and French (Taraud[5]) colonial contexts regarding the role of the management of sexuality and ‘mixture’, have empirically shown such fundamental ties between the creation of social hierarchies in our contemporary world and the production of colonial categories.

The relevance given by the academic tradition to the regulation of sexuality and ‘mixture’ in the colonial context appears to be true also for the historiography on Italian colonialism. The works of Sorgoni (1996[6]), Barrera (2002[7]) and on a smaller scale of Ponzanesi (2012[8]), focusing on interracial relationships in the colony Eritrea, represent important contributions in the field. However, there is no similar analysis done for the Libyan colonies, which seem to have been mostly ignored by the academic literature in this regard. Scholars engaged in the field of ‘mixture’ in the colonies have suggested that “in the Libyan colonies, apparently- as testified by the silences of archives, institutions and contemporary observers – there was not a consistent and widespread anxiety regarding ‘mixture’ and mixed children as it instead was in Eritrea first and Ethiopia next” (Spadaro 2013, 31[9]). However, the very creation of a specific term for the kind of concubinage that was typical of the Libyan colonies (‘mabruchismo’) indicates the undeniable widespread presence of the phenomenon. Furthermore, the strong feelings towards it of a man like Graziani surely convey the presence of at least some form of anxiety regarding it in the colonial ruling classes, an anxiety that most definitely lead to forms of regulation of the phenomenon

‘Mixture’ in colonial Libya and Italian national identity

Besides the already noticed evident research gap, it seems important to research the management of sexuality and ‘mixture’ in the Libyan context for several other important reasons. First of all, it is important to analyze how sexuality was managed in the colony in order to unveil the intertwining between the construction of colonial categories and the relations between the colony and metropole. This type of analysis has been carried out for the Italian Eastern African colonies, but not for Libya, implying that there is a piece of the puzzle missing from a thorough analysis of the colonial heritage of modern Italian society. An analysis of the management of ‘mixture’ in Libya, one that would relate its regulations to both the people involved in them and the way they were represented in the public discourse, could give an interdisciplinary outlook on the history of the Italian domination on the Libyan territories.

Moreover, by uncovering such weaving it would be possible to add another perspective to the role that the regulation of ‘mixture’ played in the construction of an ideal of Italian whiteness, relating it to the already studied Eritrean and Ethiopian contexts. Indeed, when Italy invaded Libya in 1911, the identification of the Italian nation with a specific race took hold of the collective imagination in a definitive manner. The racialized differences between North and South Italy that had plagued the Italian nations for the first decades of its existence were sedated under the repressive and centralized policies of the State. Re (2010, 10[10]) called the Libyan War a “turning point” for the assertion of the Italian national identity as white and modern, as it represented the first colonial enterprise framed as a demographic, almost proletarian expansion. As the Italian political elites were framing the colonial enterprise in Libya as a such, it is hard not to see the repercussions that the management of sexuality and ‘mixture’ in such context would have on the idea of an Italian national identity itself. Ultimately, the formation of Italian national identity rested on the construction of dominant subjects that conformed to standards forged along standards of masculinity, whiteness, and modernity. Leaving out the role that the management of the Libyan colonies in such process cannot but represent an incomplete analysis of the colonial roots of Italian national identity, an incompleteness that still reverberates in contemporary Italian society.

The colonization of Libya in Italian public memory

Theoretical considerations aside, a research on the management of ‘mixture’ in colonial Libya could have repercussions on the collective memory of those thirty years of colonial domination, so relatively short but also so relevant. Libya was often represented as a “white” Italian colony, where the iron fist of Fascism managed to create a segregated society and a demographic colonization designed to counteract the decades-long “big shame” of Italian emigration towards “whiter” countries. It therefore comes as no surprise that the former colony still holds this kind of representation in Italian collective memory. A quick internet search reveals that “Italian-Libyans” are still considered to be those Italians who settled to the Libyan colony after its pacification and managed to live there until Qaddafi sent them back to the peninsula as a retaliation for the colonial past.[11] This concealment of ‘mixture’ in the Libyan context, which finds its roots in the years of Fascist racial hygiene, can be explained by a politically contingent need to frame the Italian colony as impermeable to racial mixing. This representation of colonial Libya is still strong in the imaginary of Italian people, who often consider the colonial era as a marginal event in the history of the Italian nation. The creation of a strong, monolithic idea of the Italian nation through the painful process of the Italian Unification, which is still alive and well in the Italian public discourse, isn’t compatible with the processes of racial ‘mixing’ and cultural hybridizing typical of any colonial enterprise. ‘Mixture’ seems to be therefore erased from the dominant representations of Libyan colonial society, resulting in a fictitious reality where the cultural and social promiscuity inherent to any colonial setting are not even considered. Colonial Libya is still represented as a fixed, tidy and compartmentalized society that could not be further away from the reality of colonial life, where settlers and natives, defying the colonial elites’ attempts to define hierarchical systems of certainty, intermingled and lived together, married and had children.

For these reasons ‘mixture’ in Libya most definitely is an extremely relevant and understudied field of research that needs to be dealt with extensively. I will attempt to collect personal stories of ‘mixed couples’ and ‘mixed children’, stories of prostitution, concubinage, and the attempts to regulate such phenomena in the colonial Libyan context. The ambitious aim of the research is to depict a complex and understudied social reality and the effects that the regulation of ‘mixture’ had on the shaping of social categories in the contemporary Italian context. My hope is that one day, also thanks to my research, the recognition of the role that ‘mixture’ played in the definition of the idea of the Italian nation will be fully acknowledged.

[1] Italian Central State Archives. Collection “Rodolfo Graziani”, folder 11.

[2] Locher-Scholten, Elsbeth. Monogamous Marriage and Female Citizenship in the Dutch East Indies 1898-1938. In F. Dieteren & M. Grever, “En vaderland voor vrouwen.” Leeuwarden, Stichting Beheer, 2000.

[3] Stoler, Ann Laura. Carnal knowledge and imperial power: Race and the intimate in colonial rule. University of California Press. 2002.

[4] Levine, Philippa. Gender and Empire. Oxford University Press, 2004.

[5] Taraud, Christelle. La prostitution coloniale: Algérie, Tunisie, Maroc (1830-1962). Paris: Payot, 2003.

[6] Sòrgoni, Barbara. Parole e corpi: antropologia, discorso giuridico e politiche sessuali interrazziali nella colonia Eritrea: 1890-1941. Napoli, Edizioni scientifiche Italiane, 1998.

[7] Barrera, Giulia. “Colonial Affairs: Italian Men, Eritrean Women, and the Construction of Racial Hierarchies in Colonial Eritrea (1885-1941).” PhD diss., Northwestern University (Evansville, Ill.), 2002.

[8] Ponzanesi, S. 2012. ‘The Color of Love. Madamismo and Inter-racial Relationships in the Italian Colonies.’ Research in African Literatures, 43(2), pp. 155-172.

[9] Spadaro, Barbara. Una colonia italiana. Incontri, memorie e rappresentazioni tra Italia e Libia. Firenze, Le Monnier, 2013.

[10] Re, Lucia. “Italians and the Invention of Race: The Poetics and Politics of Difference in the Struggle over Libya, 1890-1913.” California Italian Studies 1, no. 1 (2010).

[11] By googling “Italian-Libyans”, it is possible to notice that the entire first page of results addresses the Italian settlers in Libya that were forced to migrate back to Italy after Qaddafi’s seize of power. See here and here.

 

 

Relazioni interraziali nella Libia coloniale. Lacune nella letteratura accademica e nella memoria pubblica

read in English

di Andrea Tarchi, Euromix ricercatore PhD, 14 gennaio 2019

Il generale Graziani guida una colonna militare nell’oasi di Cufra durante le ultime fasi della pacificazione della Cirenaica (1931, autore anonimo).

Il 17 maggio 1932, durante le fasi finali della “pacificazione” della resistenza libica al dominio coloniale italiano, il generale Rodolfo Graziani inviò una circolare per il rimpatrio di quattro soldati italiani dalla sua sede del vice-governatore della Cirenaica [uno delle tre divisioni amministrative della Libia moderna, a fianco di Tripolitania e Fezzan] a Bengasi. Nello stesso documento, il generale affronta anche un problema che a quanto pare considerava di estrema importanza:

“Questo ‘mabruchismo’ [rapporti di concubinato tra uomini italiani e donne libiche, dall’espressione araba per indicare il termine donna, mabrukah] è una delle piaghe che hanno infestato la colonia. Ci sono ancora alcune tracce di esso, o meglio ancora qualche nostalgia di esso, tuttavia ho intenzione di sradicarlo completamente. Questo perché, al di là delle considerazioni politiche (mi riferisco a tutte le speculazioni che il mondo indigeno ama fare riguardo al nostro rapporto con le loro donne), l’unico aspetto disciplinare è sufficiente per condannarlo e deprecarlo.”

Circolare 2935, 17 maggio 1932 [1]

Uno dei principali artefici delle politiche coloniali del fascismo in Cirenaica e Tripolitania, il generale Rodolfo Graziani fu senza dubbio l’uomo più fidato di Mussolini nella gestione militare delle colonie italiane. Soprannominato “il macellaio del Fezzan” a causa del suo uso della violenza nella repressione della resistenza libica, Graziani incarnava perfettamente il paradigma politico totalitario del fascismo, poiché credeva profondamente nelle strutture gerarchiche del potere del governo fascista imponendo le relative direttive in maniera spietata. Ciò che sembra così rilevante in questo breve estratto della circolare è quindi il livello di preoccupazione che una personalità così importante nella storia del colonialismo fascista attribuisca al fenomeno delle relazioni sessuali miste all’interno delle colonie libiche.

Ma quale era la reale rilevanza del fenomeno delle relazioni “miste” all’interno del mondo coloniale? Perché è così importante studiarne il ruolo all’interno del contesto libico? Questo blog cerca di rispondere a queste domande, sottolineando le ragioni che mi hanno portato ad iniziare una ricerca su questo argomento e le speranze che ho riguardo all’impatto che tale studio potrebbe avere sul mondo accademico e sul dibattito pubblico italiano relativo alla sua storia coloniale.

Gestione della sessualità interrazziale nella letteratura accademica

Lungi dall’essere un caso isolato, la gestione della sessualità nelle colonie è sempre stata uno dei principali punti di preoccupazione per le élite coloniali europee in diverse parti del mondo. La sessualità è infatti riconosciuta come il campo fondamentale in cui le differenze di genere, razza e classe sono state costruite nell’economia politica coloniale, mentre le coppie “miste” possono essere descritte come il fenomeno che confonde tali categorie, rendendo così evidente la loro costruzione. I numerosi esempi di ricerca che sono stati condotti in particolare sui contesti coloniali olandesi (Locher-Scholten[2], Stoler[3]), britannici (Levine[4]) e francesi (Taraud[5]) sul ruolo della gestione della sessualità e delle relazioni “mister”, hanno mostrato empiricamente tali fondamentali legami tra la creazione di gerarchie sociali nel nostro mondo contemporaneo e la produzione di categorie coloniali.

La rilevanza data alla regolamentazione della sessualità e delle relazioni “miste” nel contesto coloniale sembra essere riconosciuta anche dalla storiografia sul colonialismo italiano. I lavori di Sorgoni (1996[6]), Barrera (2002[7]) e in minor misura di Ponzanesi (2012[8]), incentrati sulle relazioni interrazziali nella colonia Eritrea, rappresentano importanti contributi al campo accademico in questione. Tuttavia, non vi è alcuna analisi simile fatta per le colonie libiche, le quali sembrano essere state per lo più ignorate dalla letteratura accademica in questo riguardo. Studiosi  impegnati nel campo del meticciato nelle colonie hanno suggerito che “nelle colonie libiche, apparentemente – come testimoniano i silenzi di archivi, istituzioni e osservatori contemporanei – non c’era un’ansia consistente e diffusa riguardo alle relazioni interraziali come in Eritrea e poi in Etiopia” (Spadaro 2013, 31[9]). Tuttavia, la creazione stessa di un termine specifico per il tipo di concubinato tipico delle colonie libiche (‘mabruchismo’) indica l’innegabile presenza diffusa del fenomeno. Inoltre, i forti sentimenti verso la sessualità interrazziale di un uomo come Graziani sicuramente trasmettono la presenza di almeno qualche forma di ansia da parte delle classi dominanti coloniali, un’ansia che sicuramente portò a forme di regolamentazione del fenomeno.

Coppie miste in Libia e l’identità nazionale italiana

Oltre alle già evidenti lacune nella tradizione accademica, appare necessario condurre un’approfondita ricerca sulla gestione della sessualità e delle coppie “miste” nel contesto libico per diversi altri importanti motivi. Prima di tutto, è importante analizzare come la sessualità fu gestita nella colonia al fine di svelare l’intreccio tra la costruzione di categorie coloniali e le relazioni tra la colonia e la metropoli. Questo tipo di analisi è stato condotto per le colonie italiane del Corno d’Africa, ma non per la Libia, il che implica la mancanza di un tassello fondamentale nell’analisi dell’eredità coloniale della società italiana moderna. Un’analisi della gestione delle relazioni “miste” in Libia, una che sia capace di collegarsi sia alle persone coinvolte in esse sia al modo in cui erano rappresentate nel discorso pubblico, potrebbe dare una prospettiva interdisciplinare sulla storia della dominazione italiana sul territori libici.Inoltre, scoprendo tale tessitura, sarebbe possibile aggiungere un’altra prospettiva al ruolo che la regolamentazione delle relazioni interraziali ha giocato nella costruzione di un ideale di bianchezza italiana, collegandolo ai contesti eritrei ed etiopi già studiati. Infatti, quando l’Italia invase la Libia nel 1911, l’identificazione della nazione italiana con una specifica razza si impadronì dell’immaginario collettivo in modo definitivo. Le differenze razzializzate tra il Nord e il Sud Italia che avevano afflitto la nazione Italiana durante i primi decenni della sua esistenza furono sedate sotto la politica repressiva e centralizzante dello Stato unitario. Re (2010, 10[10]) definì la guerra libica un “punto di svolta” per l’affermazione dell’identità nazionale italiana come bianca e moderna, poiché riuscì a rappresentare la prima impresa coloniale come un’espansione demografica, quasi proletaria. Poiché le élite politiche italiane stavano inquadrando l’impresa coloniale in Libia come tale, è difficile non vedere le ripercussioni che la gestione della sessualità e del meticciato in tale contesto avrebbe sull’idea stessa di un’identità nazionale italiana. In definitiva, la formazione dell’identità nazionale italiana poggiava sulla costruzione di soggetti dominanti che si conformavano a standard forgiati secondo ideali di mascolinità, bianchezza e modernità. Tralasciare il ruolo che la gestione delle colonie libiche ebbe in tale processo non può che rappresentare un’analisi incompleta delle radici coloniali dell’identità nazionale italiana, un’incompletezza che ancora risuona nella società italiana contemporanea.

La colonizzazione della Libia nella memoria pubblica italiana

Considerazioni teoriche a parte, una ricerca sulla gestione della sessualità e del meticciato nella Libia coloniale potrebbe avere ripercussioni sulla memoria collettiva di quei trent’anni di dominazione coloniale, così relativamente breve ma anche così rilevante. La Libia era spesso rappresentata come una colonia italiana “bianca”, dove il pugno di ferro del fascismo era riuscito a creare una società segregata e una colonizzazione demografica destinata a contrastare la “grande vergogna” dell’emigrazione italiana verso paesi più “bianchi” quali gli USA. Non sorprende quindi che l’ex-colonia conservi ancora questo tipo di rappresentazione nella memoria collettiva italiana. Una rapida ricerca su Internet rivela che gli “italo-libici” sono ancora considerati quegli italiani che si stabilirono nella colonia dopo la sua pacificazione e riuscirono a vivere lì fino a quando Gheddafi li rimandò nella penisola come rappresaglia per il passato coloniale[11]. Questo occultamento del meticciato e delle relazioni “miste” nel contesto libico, il quale trova le sue radici negli anni della pulizia razziale fascista, può essere spiegato da un bisogno politicamente contingente di rappresentare la colonia italiana come impermeabile alla “mescolanza” razziale. Questa rappresentazione della Libia coloniale è ancora forte nell’immaginario degli italiani, i quali considerano spesso l’era coloniale come un evento marginale nella storia della nazione italiana. La creazione di un’idea della nazione italiana forte e monolitica attraverso il doloroso processo dell’Unità d’Italia, che è ancora viva e vegeta nel discorso pubblico italiano, non è compatibile con i processi di “miscelazione” razziale e ibridazione culturale tipici di qualsiasi impresa coloniale. Le relazioni “miste” sembrano quindi essere cancellate dalle rappresentazioni dominanti della società coloniale libica, risultando in una realtà fittizia in cui la promiscuità culturale e sociale inerente a qualsiasi ambiente coloniale non è nemmeno presa in considerazione. La Libia coloniale è ancora rappresentata come una società fissa, ordinata e compartimentalizzata, rappresentazione che non potrebbe essere più lontana dalla realtà della vita coloniale, dove coloni e nativi, sfidando i tentativi delle élite coloniali di definire sistemi gerarchici di certezza, si mescolavano e vivevano insieme, si sposavano e avevano figli.Per questi motivi, la sessualità e il meticciato in Libia sono sicuramente campi di ricerca estremamente rilevanti, poco studiati e che dovrebbero essere affrontati in modo estensivo. Cercherò di raccogliere storie personali di “coppie miste” e “bambini misti”, storie di prostituzione, concubinato e tentativi di regolare tali fenomeni nel contesto coloniale libico. L’ambizioso obiettivo della ricerca è di rappresentare una realtà sociale complessa e di capire gli effetti che la regolamentazione delle coppie “miste” ha avuto sulla formazione delle categorie sociali nel contesto italiano contemporaneo. La mia speranza è che un giorno, anche grazie alla mia ricerca, il riconoscimento del ruolo che le coppie “miste” ha giocato nella definizione dell’idea della nazione italiana sarà pienamente riconosciuto.

[1] Archivio Centrale dello Stato. Collezione “Rodolfo Graziani”, busta 11.

[2] Locher-Scholten, Elsbeth. Monogamous Marriage and Female Citizenship in the Dutch East Indies 1898-1938. In F. Dieteren & M. Grever, “En vaderland voor vrouwen.” Leeuwarden, Stichting Beheer, 2000.

[3] Stoler, Ann Laura. Carnal knowledge and imperial power: Race and the intimate in colonial rule. University of California Press. 2002

[4] Levine, Philippa. Gender and Empire. Oxford University Press, 2004.

[5] Taraud, Christelle. La prostitution coloniale: Algérie, Tunisie, Maroc (1830-1962). Paris: Payot, 2003.

[6] Sòrgoni, Barbara. Parole e corpi: antropologia, discorso giuridico e politiche sessuali interrazziali nella colonia Eritrea: 1890-1941. Napoli, Edizioni scientifiche Italiane, 1998.

[7] Barrera, Giulia. “Colonial Affairs: Italian Men, Eritrean Women, and the Construction of Racial Hierarchies in Colonial Eritrea (1885-1941).” PhD diss., Northwestern University (Evansville, Ill.), 2002.

[8] Ponzanesi, S. 2012. ‘The Color of Love. Madamismo and Inter-racial Relationships in the Italian Colonies.’ Research in African Literatures, 43(2), pp. 155-172.

[9] Spadaro, Barbara. Una colonia italiana. Incontri, memorie e rappresentazioni tra Italia e Libia. Firenze, Le Monnier, 2013.

[10] Re, Lucia. “Italians and the Invention of Race: The Poetics and Politics of Difference in the Struggle over Libya, 1890-1913.” California Italian Studies 1, no. 1 (2010).

[11] Ricercando su google “italo-libici”, è possibile notare che l’intera prima pagina di risultati si rivolge ai coloni italiani in Libia che sono stati costretti a migrare di nuovo in Italia dopo il sequestro di potere di Gheddafi. Vedi qui e qui.

 

 

An Exceptional Marriage Upsetting Colonial Orders?

lees in het Nederlands

by Betty de Hart, Euromix Principal Investigator, 11 October 2018

In the late nineteenth century, on 22 January 1889, Oei Jan Lee married Christina van Wijk in Leiden, a university town in the Netherlands. Oei Jan Lee, or as he wanted to be called, Johan Lee, was of Chinese descent, born in the Dutch East Indies (nowadays Indonesia) and his wife Christina was a Dutch white woman, born in the Netherlands. Johan Lee had studied law at Leiden university and in 1889, he obtained his PhD on the topic of Responsibility of the vendor for hidden defects of the good.[1] The couple had met through her father, who was a teacher, where Johan Lee had been staying. After the marriage, they had a short announcement in the local newspaper to thank for the interest in their marriage, as was common usage for couples of their class.

Their marriage was considered a ‘mixed’ one. This is the popular term for what was an interraacialised marriage: between partners of two groups that were considered distinct, racialized groups by society, at this particular time and place. The term interracialized points to the constructed, arbitrary nature of references to these relationships and their offspring, and explicitly departs from assigning essentialist status to them. [2]

No respect for the ‘white race’

Their marriage drew considerable media attention in the metropole as well as in the Dutch East Indies. The colonial press was especially interested because the couple was expected to establish their life there. Such a marriage between a woman who  was considered ‘European’ and a man who, as a Chinese, was categorised as a ‘foreign oriental’ was not only perceived as rare and remarkable, but also as a threat to the colonial racial and legal order. This is what the colonial Bataviaansch Nieuwsblad  wrote about the marriage, blaming Christina’s father:

[Because] a small burger in the Netherlands by marrying off his daughter shows to have thrown away all respect for his religion, for the white race and the nation and the family, to which he belongs (,..).[3]

Source: Bataviaans Nieuwsblad, 9 March 1889. Commenting how Christina’s father lost respect for his religion, ‘white race’ etc. 

This news report shows how this interracialized marriage of an individual couple was seen as a matter of general interest: endangering religion, the ‘white race’ and the people; it was seen as degrading all of them. It was also common discourse at the time that such a marriage was not seen as a matter of choice by the white woman herself, but rather something that happened to her, because she was naive, was chosen, or, in this case, ‘married off’.[4]

The excerpt cited here was a response to an earlier commentary by translator of the Chinese language P. Meeter in the Javabode, who welcomed the marriage as proof that Chinese ‘did not fall back to the same level as the natives’, as some had alleged. Under the heading ‘European or Chinese?’, Meeter described Johan Lee in a positive light; not only had Lee married a ‘Dutch lady’, he had studied law, and had applied for naturalisation.[5]

Although this may sound positive, Meeter believed in a racial hierarchy with the ‘natives’ at the bottom of this hierarchy. He also used racial language in linking the topic of Lee’s dissertation to his ‘Mongolian descent’. This fits with the negative colonial discourses on the Chinese community in which they were depicted as money brokers exploiting the weaker ‘natives’.

The Dutch East Indies had a racial hierarchal order inscribed in law. In 1848 article 109 of the Government Regulation for the Dutch East Indies introduced a legal distinction between ‘Europeans and their equals’ (Europeans, Christians and all non-natives), and ‘natives and their equals’ (natives, Arabs, Moors, Chinese, Mohammedans and heathens).

Meeter addressed he question whether Oei should be considered ‘Chinese’ or ‘European’. Marrying a ‘Dutch lady’ or ‘a full-blooded Holland girl’ as some media called her [6]  was not the only thing that Johan Lee had done to upset this colonial order; Lee claimed equal treatment as European in different ways.

The legal consequences of being Chinese  

Lee had already applied for Dutch citizenship in 1886, three years before his marriage, but the request was denied. The Director of Justice of the East Indies was of the opinion that although Lee’s naturalisation was legally possible, it went against the ‘spirit of the law’ to naturalize persons of a ‘completely different race’ and ‘completely different way of living’. A Chinese could never de facto become Dutch and it was in the interest of the colony to keep the different groups apart. The Minister of the Colonies J.P. Sprenger van Eyk (1884-1888)[7] agreed that naturalization should be denied, because Lee would still retain the status of ‘foreign oriental’, and if not, naturalization would result in circumvention of the other procedure, the individual request for ‘equality to Europeans’.[8]  Hence, although the Netherlands government never had racial criteria inscribed in nationality law (as in the United States)[9], they applied racial criteria in practice. Consequently, for Chinese, naturalization would remain problematic and an issue of political debate for a considerable period.[10]

In the colonial order, to be categorised as Chinese had distinct legal consequences. The Chinese had to live in separate living areas under supervision of Chinese leaders and only in exceptional cases could they live in areas designated to Europeans, or where the Indonesian population lived. In 1872, it was expressly forbidden to dress differently than what was considered to be according to the Chinese ‘landaard’ (‘national character’). Furthermore, an 1863 Act restricted mobility of the Chinese and ‘natives’ by an obligatory pass system. The rules to separate living quarters and the pass system remained in place until 1919. These rules demonstrate how blurred racial lines in the colony actually were; keeping the Chinese legally apart was a way to make racial distinctions be displayed openly and more distinct.[11]

Lee, however, did not obey these rules. For instance, in 1889, a few months after this marriage, newspapers reported that he had attended a session of a local court, ‘fully dressed as European’, and wondered how the colonial authorities would react to this violation of the dress code.[12] He also converted to Christianity and that too was reported in the newspapers.[13]

Source: Algemeen Handelsblad, 21 April 1889. Reporting on Lee’s visit to the court ‘fully dressed as European’

Where did a mixed couple belong?

It can be assumed that these rules would also affect Lee’s wife Christina, although this was hardly mentioned. It raises the question where, as a mixed couple, they were allowed to live, and how Christina was supposed to dress. Meeter also wondered how the couple would be treated by the Indisch society, and how she would endure the whispering and giggling by ‘particular Indies ladies’ about their unusual union. He also indicated that, as a European woman, she would feel uncomfortable, if he would be obliged to dress as Chinese.

This implies that a European woman would only be interested in a man who looked European, in other words, who performed Europeanness, even if he wasn’t. The reference to particular ‘Indies ladies’ is a racialised and gendered discourse, which was well-understood as a reference to European women of mixed decent who were held responsible for prejudices in colonial society.[14]

Johan and Christina’s arrival must indeed have created quite a stir in the colony. One newspaper resisted a possible treatment as European, as Lee, in their opinion, was still young, and had done ‘nothing at all’ to serve the general interest. The report continued:

If it would be enough to master the Dutch language and complete an academic education in the metropole, this would be followed by countless requests by well-off Chinese. [15]

The author claimed it was not necessary to spell out the consequences, as they were clear to all those familiar with the colony, so it is believed that the government would refuse the request.

Finally European…

In 1891, two years after the marriage, Lee was granted equal treatment to Europeans.[16] In 1892, he applied for Dutch citizenship once more. By then, he was an attorney at the Indisch Supreme Court. This time, his request was granted and the Director of Justice and the Council of the Indies advised positively. They concluded that he had ‘not fallen back’ to the Chinese way of living and customs, and considering his job, his marriage to a European woman, and his social position he could be considered European. Naturalization then, confirmed ‘the truth’ of what he was. Lee was naturalised by law of January 2nd 1893 (St. 1893 no. 9). Nevertheless, this was considered the exception that confirmed the rule, which remained that ‘foreign orientals’ could not naturalise. Naturalisation for Chinese remain problematic for years after Lee.[17] In the end, although he did everything he could, it is questionable whether Lee upset the colonial order, especially because he remained the exception, with the colonial racial legal order firmly in place up till decolonization.

At some point, Johan and Christina returned to the Netherlands. Lee died in The Hague in 1918, Christina in 1941. Their life events no longer drew media attention. However, it is likely that their life as an interracialized family in The Hague will have been highly affected by the racialized discourses on the Chinese that travelled back and forth between the colonies and the metropole. Retelling their story, as far as possible based on the available sources, gives some insight in how they were affected, and how they responded.

 

 

[1] Lee, Oei Jan. Over de aansprakelijkheid des verkoopers voor de verborgen gebreken der verkochte zaak... JJ Groen, 1889.

[2] Haritaworn, Jinthana. The biopolitics of mixing: Thai multiracialities and haunted ascendancies. Routledge, 2016.

[3] Bataviaans Nieuwsblad, 9 March 1889, Nederlandsch Indie.

[4] Laura Tabili (1996). Women “of a very low type”: crossing racial boundaries in imperial Britain. Gender and Class in Modern Europe, 165-90.

[5] Javabode 8 March 1889, Europeaan of Chinees?

[6] Nieuws van de Dag 23 January 1889.

[7] https://www.parlement.com/id/vg09lljhz8y4/j_p_sprenger_van_eyk#p.overig

[8] Tjiook-Liem, Patricia, De rechtspositie der Chinezen in Nederlandsch-Indië 1848-1942. Leiden University Press, 2009, p. 276-277. https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/13509/Tjiook+voor+PoD[1]-05.02.09.pdf?sequence=2 .

[9] Haney-López, Ian. White by law. 10th anniversary edition: The legal construction of race. NYU Press, 2006.

[10] For a historical overview of Dutch citizenship law, see: Heijs, Eric. Van vreemdeling tot Nederlander. De verlening van het Nederlanderschap aan vreemdelingen 1813-1992. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis, 1995.

[11] Shirahshi, T. (2011). AntiSinicism in Java’s New Order In D. Chirot, ‎A. Reid (eds) Essential Outsiders: Chinese and Jews in the Modern Transformation. Washington University Press, 187-207.

[12] Algemeen Handelsblad, 21 April 1889

[13] Maasbode 25 October 1889, De Mail uit Oost-Indië.

[14] Boudewijn, Petra. Warm bloed: de representatie van Indo-Europeanen in de Indisch-Nederlandse letterkunde (1860-heden). Uitgeverij Verloren, 2016.

[15] Rotterdamse courant, 24 April 1889.

[16] Staatsblad van Nederlandsch-indië, no. 221, 20 October 1891.

[17] Tjiook-Liem, Patricia, De rechtspositie der Chinezen in Nederlandsch-Indië 1848-1942. Leiden University Press, 2009, p. 276-277. https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/13509/Tjiook+voor+PoD[1]-05.02.09.pdf?sequence=2 .

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How to cite this blog post (OSCOLA):

Betty de Hart, ‘An Exceptional Marriage Upsetting Colonial Orders?‘ (11 October 2018) <http://euromixproject.nl/an-exceptional-marriage-upsetting-colonial-orders/> accessed insert date.