Publication Date



In this article, I argue that political repression during the Moroccan Years of Lead (1956-1999) engendered myriad losses in the fields of education and culture. However, the scholarly focus on the embodied effects of state violence on former prisoners and forcibly disappeared individuals has overlooked the intangible damages both education and culture sustained during this period. In investigating the imbrication of political conservatism, educational reform and censorship, the article opens a more critical space for the conceptualization of the broader implications of the Years of Lead for education and culture. Drawing on several primary sources in Arabic and French, including documents of the Moroccan Student Union (UNEM), Lamalif issues, and ERC’s final report, I examine how educational and cultural loss was constitutive of the experience of Years of Lead. Combining close readings with historical analysis, this article is an invitation to broaden the scope of scholarly investigation of the multilayered ramifications of statal political violence on socio-economic and cultural fields in Morocco.

Author Bio(s)

Brahim El Guabli is Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies and Comparative Literature at Williams College. His work investigates literary representations of state violence as well as history rewriting in politically transitioning spaces. His journal articles have appeared in Interventions, Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, Arab Studies Journal, and The Journal of North African Studies, and META, among others. El Guabli is the co-editor of the forthcoming Lamalif: A Critical Anthology of Societal Debates in Morocco During the "Years of Lead" (Liverpool University Press). El Guabli’s first book manuscript is entitled Other-Archives: Jews, Berbers, and Political Prisoners Rewrite the Post-1956 Moroccan Nation, and his second book project is Saharan Imaginations, From Mild to Wild: Rethinking a Misunderstood Place.