"Letter to my coloniser" for Bad Form's Crime issue

  • Racha Bouhouche

For the Crime issue I contributed with a poem entitled "A letter to my coloniser" that I wrote as an enactment of my oppositional gaze towards the neocolonial discourses that frame immigration politics. Founded in 2019, Bad Form has been since then, a literary platform that never failed to uplift Black, Asian and marginalised writers. A needed space as diverse voices are disproportionately overlooked in publishing. "Rather than limiting our content to the popular psychological thriller genre, Bad Form tackles the theme by interrogating the genre of crime. Isn't colonialism a crime? " (Bad Form Review)

Date: 25th of May 2020

Plublisher: Bad Form Review

Author: Racha Bouhouche


Being French of Algerian descent comes with its turmoils., especially when aware of the colonial past and neo-colonial present that bounds the two countries. Since a big lump of that history is partly unaddressed and remains taboo, I wanted to educate myself on the matter. Inevitably, I came to read about the numerous crimes (rape, mass murder, obstruction of the justice system, etc) that France committed during the colonisation. Among a sea of horror, a particular piece stuck with me, called “Transgressing Boundaries: Gender, Race, Religion, and “Françaises Musulmanes” during the Algerian War of Independence” by Natalya Vince. At the time I was reading it, it vividly echoed the current and pervasive climate of islamophobia in France, where women were constantly attacked on national TV for wearing the hijab and not looking “civilised” enough. Feeling alienated in my homeland, I felt compelled to put into words and imageries a response to the present ramifications of a colonial past.