The shame of my name


8 Febbraio 2020

Algerians forced to adopt obscene family names by French colonisers bear the burden of ridicule for generations

The Shame of my Name is the story of how some Algerians during the colonial period were forced to change their names by French colonial authorities at the time. Many of the names these Algerians were forced to carry hold demeaning and even vulgar meanings.

The burden of these forced names is still carried by some Algerians to this day.

The names were in the local Algerian Arabic dialect and cover a range of vulgar words, including descriptions of bodily functions and genitalia.

In this film, we meet several of these individuals whose families were forced to carry names which translate as “Arse,” “Runny Nose” and even more offensive monikers. One contributor finds her name so offensive that she cannot bring herself to utter it. She has since changed her name.