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Publicly claiming an LGBTQ identity in Morocco can place a young person under the threat of violence, both on the part of the state, which criminalizes homosexuality under Article 489 of the Penal Code, and from actors within Moroccan society who wish to uphold a heteronormative conception of Moroccan national identity. The internet, with its potential for anonymous communication, serves as a relatively free and safe space for young queer Moroccans to explore their sexuality and gender identity. Akaliyat Magazine, an internet-based publication founded in 2015, serves as one of the only Arabic-language media outlets in Morocco that focuses on providing a space for queer youth to “express themselves” and to hear each other’s stories. In this paper, I develop a brief history of Akaliyat Magazine, drawing on content from the five issues published to date as well as a 2018 interview I conducted with the magazine’s editor and founder. Drawing on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and Richard Bauman to investigate the question of genre and its orientation to specific communities and ideologies, I argue that Akaliyat Magazine uses specific forms of address and genres of writing that work to create a community of queer youth in Morocco.

Author Bio(s)

Benjamin Ale-Ebrahim is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington. He previously earned an MA in Religious Studies and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Kansas. He is interested in sociocultural and linguistic anthropology with an emphasis on the study of Islam, gender, and media. He plans to conduct his dissertation research in Morocco, investigating the role that social media platforms play in shaping how young Moroccans perform their multiple religious, gendered, and national identities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License