Situated at the crossroads of the East and the West, the Maghreb occupies a critical geopolitical position and constitutes a complex and multi-layered space. Since its colonial independence from France, this region has witnessed several changes and experienced significant crises within its societies. The Algerian Civil War of the 1990s, followed by the Arab Spring of 2010, which started in Tunisia and impacted greatly its neighbouring countries as well as the rest of the Arab world, and more recently the “Revolution of Smiles” taking place again in Algeria, have revealed serious fractures within these populations. This panel examines the various tensions within these three postcolonial societies (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) based on the dichotomy of tradition vs. modernity through the study of literary texts and films produced by Maghrebi authors or filmmakers who show a subversive vision of their environment. The problematic of this session is to question a corpus pertaining to literary and filmic genres as to an infinite number of issues on identity, language, religion, sexuality, gender relationships, nationalism, cultural practices, and socio-politics. Among the themes examined, the roles and representations of Maghrebi women within traditional and patriarchal societies will be particularly emphasized as they have often been at the fore of several national and socio-political battles. The complex processes of transculturation that have characterized these three postcolonial Maghrebi societies as well as the question of transnationalism, notably due to the important presence of Maghrebi immigrants all over the world, are possible subjects of reflection. The overall objective of this session is to analyse different forms of subversion in relation to diverse traditional Maghrebi societies that struggle to move into modernity. What sort of negotiations and what kind of voices emerge from various writers and film producers drive also our interest as well as any comparative approaches to the debates.
Yasmina Nagnoug Mejai