The Hara, or ghetto, is a place that distinguishes its inhabitants from other religious and cultural groups, acting as a spatial indicator of their difference. When Foucault’s theory of heterotopia is applied, the Hara becomes a hybrid, a place simultaneously of crisis and of deviation. In Albert Memmi’s La statue de sel, the protagonist experiences the Hara as antagonistic, or as a dystopia. In Nine Moati’s Les belles de Tunis, the protagonist experiences the Hara as a utopia.
Debbie Barnard teaches French at Tennessee Tech University. Her research deals mainly with francophone Tunisian literature; she has published or presented studies of Albert Memmi, Gilbert Naccache, Hélé Béji, and Claude Kayat, among others. She is currently at work on a study of the medina in Tunisian literature.
"Being Ghetto: The Hara as Heterotopia in Judeo-Tunisian Literature,"
The Coastal Review: An Online Peer-reviewed Journal:
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/thecoastalreview/vol1/iss1/6