Yet in the case of both Algerian and Vietnamese cultural actors the urban space is seen and experienced through the lens of past conflicts. For the Vietnamese community, it is the Vietnam War that creates pro-and anti-Hanoi internal divisions that are mapped out within the confines of the center city. For Algerians, it is the still unresolved memories of the Algerian War that pit Algerian youth against French authorities in the urban periphery. However, if in both the French and Algerian perceptions the workingclass suburbs or banlieues have become the nation’s most racially charged sites of conflict, it is because they are fueled by an Algerian past that continues to exert a powerful hold on the present.