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After the ‘Years of Lead’ in Morocco: Performing the Memory

  • Khalid Amine

Abstract

During the so-called ‘Years of Lead’ in Morocco (1956–1999), state-sponsored violence was embedded not only in assaults on the bodies of victims, but also in their affective and psychological well-being. This occurred to such an extent that many attempts at the narrativization of violence via testimonials and prison memoirs fail to convey the trauma experienced in Moroccan secret prisons. In the present article Khalid Amine is concerned with the fragility of testimony as a performative act, in which the obligation of voicing pain and trauma is in tension with the impossibility of its telling. After the hearing sessions organized by the Moroccan Equity and Reconciliation Commission (ERC) in 2004, another narrative turn has emerged in Moroccan theatre and in other artistic forms whereby reenactments of prison memoirs, testimonials, and other registers of repressed personal archives are employed onstage as a means of breaching the walls between the personal and political. Khalid Amine is Professor of Performance Studies, Faculty of Letters and Humanities at Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Tetouan, Morocco. He is co-author with Marvin Carlson of The Theatres of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia: Performance Traditions of the Maghreb (2012).

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