On 24 July 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron commissioned historian Benjamin Stora to report on the «questions regarding the memory of colonisation and the Algerian War». This article begins with an analysis of the report and its reception in France and Algeria, and it has two objectives. On the one hand, it examines the French debate on the memory of the Algerian War and colonization more generally. However, it also intervenes in a broader theoretical debate, asking whether memory studies have not unwittingly led to a discursive shift and replaced politics – understood as conflicts inscribed in social relations – with a distorted conception of «memory» as an ideology of «capitalist realism» (Fisher). To use the provocative title of a recent study (Gensburger and Lefranc, 2017), we might ask: are memory politics really useful? Do they shape reality?
Keywords: Algerian War; Emmanuel Macron; «Stora Report»; Memory.