Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Continuing Influence of the 1960s and 70s Moroccan Cultural and Literary Magazine Souffles

Here is an article from al-Fanar on the cultural magazine Souffles and its continuing influence in artistic and academic circles. As the article states, " issues of the iconic magazine in French and in Arabic are available online through the web site of Morocco’s national library."  Stanford University Press published an English-language anthology of the magazine, Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics that can be found here.

A Long-Shuttered Moroccan Magazine Still Wields Powerful Influence

Ursula Lindsey / 19 Apr 2016

Scholars from around the world gathered at Morocco’s national library in Rabat earlier this month to discuss the impact of a historic cultural magazine. Considered so subversive in its time that its founders were imprisoned for conspiring to overthrow the state, the iconic magazine Souffles (”Breathes”) continues to fascinate Moroccan intellectuals and artists and is increasingly the focus of international research.

The avant-garde magazine, published in French and Arabic, was founded by a group of young friends who were also some of the country’s most talented poets, writers and visual artists. They included the poets Abdellatif Laabi and Moustapha Nissabouri, the writers Driss Chraibi and Taher Ben Jalloun, the painters Mohamed Melehi and Farid Belkahia, and many more. The magazine also developed contacts and contributors elsewhere in the region, such as the Syrian poet Adonis.

The magazine was published from 1966 to 1971, a very turbulent time in Morocco’s
modern history, when King Hassan II faced public protests, leftist opposition and coup attempts, and reacted by unleashing a fierce repression—including arrests, assassinations and torture—that came to be known as “the years of lead.”