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A Traumatized Nation

By: Ismail Frouini  

This paper explores the uncommunicated trauma in Moroccan prison writings of/in the Years of Lead. Being a notorious period in Moroccan history, the “Years of Lead” witnessed a trauma of a nation that has been attributed to their attempt to speak truth to the Moroccan power. This paper is premised upon analyzing the following Moroccan prison writings: Abdellatif Laâbi’s "Chroniques de la citadelle d'exil: Lettres de prison 1980-1981" (1978) and "Sous le bâillon le poème" (1981), Fatna El Bouih’s "Talk of Darkness" (2008), Kadija Merouazi’s "Memory of Ash" (2000), and Abdelkader Chaoui’s "The Courtyard of Honour" (2005). Based on trauma studies theories, this paper argues that the “Years of Lead” Moroccan prisoners of conscience have experienced an idiosyncratic trauma in the Morocco repressive state apparatuses. The above-mentioned prisoners provoke and encourage a collective public consciousness instigated by their dissident struggle as accentuated by their isolation and imprisonment.

Moroccan Cultural Studies
Literary Humanities
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session



Ismail Frouini