Rewriting the World: Gendered Violence, the Political Imagination and Memoirs from the “Years of Lead” in Morocco

  • Laura Menin


Prison literature (littérature carcérale or adab al-sujun) has shed light on censured dimensions of Moroccan postcolonial history. By sharing their personal memories, former political prisoners have triggered a debate on state violence under Hassan II (1961–1999). This exploration of the gendered and relational dimensions of violence and testimony draws on the published memoirs and interviews of Nour-Eddine Saoudi and Fatna El Bouih, two former Marxist-Leninist political prisoners. Specifically, it identifies the means by which Saoudi and El Bouih theorised their personal experience to denounce the system of repression in Morocco. Their testimonies illustrate the role of memory as a transformative site of agency and political imagination, exhibiting hope for a different future by encouraging Moroccans to engage with their dark past.
Focus: Violence, Justice, and the Work of Memory