Algeria/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.2 National definition of culture

The principles for defining Algerian culture are derived from the Tripoli Charter of 1962, in which a full chapter is to dedicated to defining culture. The text states that Algerian culture shall be national (based on Islam and Arabism), revolutionary (eradicating colonial complexes) and scientific (based on technology and rationalism). Thus it provides a purely ideological definition of culture and associates it with the struggle of the Algerian people for freedom.

For Houari Boumedienne, culture is a “manifestation of an economy, lifestyle and specific social relations at a certain time of human life on which people apply a certain approach, method and sensitivity that are as compatible with the conditions of existence they face as with the chosen social rules” (1969).

The ideological definition of culture laid out by the Tripoli Charter still stands today and the official rhetoric related to cultural issues, particularly that of the current Minister of Culture and the President of the Republic, refer to the revolutionary aspect of culture and constantly call to mind the colonial period.

Chapter published: 03-05-2013