The Aesthetics and Politics of Contemporary Cultural Productions in Morocco

21 March 2014

Room 116 (SOAS Main Building)
Conference Sponsors: The British Council, The University of Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies and the Moroccan British Society
Conference Organiser: Dr. Karima Laachir (SOAS, University of London)

Morocco’s cultural productions in the form of literature, cinema, music and art have always been at the forefront of popular struggles for freedom against colonialism, political and social repression and corruption. The conference explores the role played by literature, cinema, and music among other genres of cultural products in revealing the complex social and political tensions in a society aspiring to freedom. The goal is to explore the complex way contemporary cultural products engage with and protest against the dominant social and political discourses on gender issues, oppression, and corruption. This conference will be unique in its attempt to explore contemporary Moroccan cultural products in Arabic and French from the perspective of investigating their role in transforming the nature of the connection between the cultural sphere and the exercise of power. It will explore how the aesthetics of cultural production—i.e. modes and forms of artistic creation and innovation—are intertwined with politics in terms of providing alternative visions to issues to do with the social and political spheres.

Scholarship on this particular topic is scarce; and therefore, this project is important in its endeavour to map the contemporary multilingual context of the cultural scene in Morocco in its artistic engagement with social and political contexts. Morocco is a strategic North African country which is geographically and culturally situated between Africa, Europe and the Middle East and therefore, it provides a unique context in its amalgamation of various artistic traditions and trajectories.

The conference will be a platform where academics working on these topics based in Moroccan universities, in the UK and elsewhere will debate these issues. It will also host a number of Moroccan writers and artists who will offer their experiences in the field of cultural production.


This conference is free and open to anyone with an interest in the subject. If you wish to attend, please email Karima Laachir to register.

View the Conference Programme.

Panel 2: (from left) Cleo Jay, Dr Karima Laachir, Youssouf Amine Elalamy

Dr Paul Anderson (far left) with H.H. Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui, (second from right) Mr Martin Rose (far right)

Keynote Speech delivered by Mohammed Achaari (Sponsored by the International Prize for Arabic Fiction)