Embracing Life After Colonial Catastrophe

Decolonising the Colonising Traveller in the Rif War (1920-26)

Azzeddine Tajjiou

(Morocco)


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This composition blends historical events, personal reflections, and critical analysis to underscore the importance of both writing about and decolonising the discourse surrounding the Rif War. Its different styles reflect the shifting emotions and ideas it seeks to capture. 

Meeting Faith Adiele and Why I Decided to Write About the ‘Land/Home’ 

In the summer of 2023, during The Olive Writers’ annual creative writing summer camp in Casablanca, serendipity led me to an encounter with Faith Adiele, a kindred spirit. Our conversations, whenever time permitted, revealed a shared enthusiasm for narratives of decolonisation, venturing into the intricate domains of language, conceptions of home, and the essence of African identities. As we engaged in discussions, the camp’s overarching theme–“Journeys of the Heart”–echoed in my mind. It centred the complexities of home, identity, belonging, and alienation. Interestingly, in Casablanca—a place I had long resisted visiting—I experienced a unique sense of alienation not felt elsewhere. The unfamiliar clamour of crowded streets, a stark contrast to my past life in less populated regions, triggered reflections on home. Home, a word both enchanting and perilous, consumed my thoughts. Memories of the Rif’s picturesque mountains, rivers, coasts, and the fragrance of dawn’s air enveloped me—the essence of my grandfather’s countryside dwelling. 

Olive Writers culminated in a call to contribute to an anthology, compelling me to pen a short story. But attempting to document my Moroccan travels proved futile; words eluded me. It became evident that writing about myself while away from home was a fruitless endeavour. I redirected my focus to the very home that tugged at my heartstrings. 

The same holds true for this essay. While I could articulate the profound significance of my home and the comfort it provides, home is not solely about ease. Anyone who has ventured away and lived independently recognizes the value of home, with its blend of joys and sorrows. My love for my home transcends the pain it has inflicted upon me and the collective history it carries. This love persists even in the face of discomfort, perhaps fuelled by the very pain it has caused. I understand that healing requires honestly sharing our stories and knowledge, an imperative to decolonise our minds and hearts—an undertaking to which this essay aspires. 

Colonialism as ‘Travel’ and Decolonisation 

Witnessing the struggles of my compatriots, friends, and acquaintances in the Rif, I see a daily reality shaped by unemployment, poverty, and systemic neglect from almost all institutions. Many embark on perilous journeys, risking their lives to migrate from the Rif to Spain in pursuit of aspirations for a better life, stable careers, and the simple desire to live. The irony is striking—individuals from a region historically affected by Spain’s role in the Rif now seek refuge in their former oppressor. This irony is a facet that demands decolonisation, a theme that remains central as we delve into the events of the Rif War of 1920-26 and explore its aftermath, emphasising the contemporary necessity to decolonise the discourse surrounding it. 

Decolonisation, as a concept, extends beyond the boundaries of reevaluating narratives confined to written or fictional realms. It emerges as a dynamic force, challenging narratives deeply embedded in the epistemological and political consciousness of the modern world. Within the context of the Rif War, a disconcerting lack of awareness persists among many individuals, inside and outside Morocco, regarding the conflict’s nature, underlying causes, and enduring consequences that cast a lingering shadow over the region. 

Even some indigenous people from the Rif remain oblivious to the historical events that have shaped their present reality. This forgetfulness stands as one of the most perilous outcomes. It aligns directly with the colonial ideology, which seeks to obscure or justify the injustices imposed upon a people who initially welcomed colonisers as mere ‘travellers,’ only to discover what often hides behind the facade of exploration. 

The Rif War (1920-26) – A Brief Historical Overview 

The Rif War was a pivotal event in the region’s history, resulting in profound changes in indigenous peoples’ living conditions, culture, and stability. The period of ‘journey’ came to an end when Spanish colonial forces took control of the Rif in 1912, and the era of ‘colonialization’ began. It was then that the indigenous Riffians realised that their period of hospitality to those travellers had likewise come to an end, sparking a solid desire to fight. This ruling paved the way for a six-year battle that lasted from 1920 to 1926.

The Rif region’s distinctive tribal system, flourishing amidst rugged mountainous terrain, initially led colonial powers, primarily the Spanish and later the French, to believe that exploiting tribal divisions would facilitate a divide-and-rule strategy for regional control. However, resistance in the Rif gained momentum. The tribes united with a shared purpose: to expel settlers who had once been mere travellers and to reclaim independence for their land. This tribal system, because it works by dividing small tribal groups over a geographical area, has resulted in a plethora of dialectical shifts in the Tarifit language spoken by the locals. As a result, each tribe had its own territory, cultural attributes, linguistic nuances, and moral and societal systems. This led colonial powers to expect it would be effortless to further separate those tribes, as they are inherently capable of being divided, but to their astonishment, the opposite occurred. The cultural and linguistic diversity of the tribes inhabiting the Rif region played a significant role in uniting them all against their single oppressor: the coloniser.

The Rif War, which lasted from 1921 to 1926, engaged indigenous Berber tribes against Spanish colonial forces, with France joining the fight in 1924 to assist Spain’s unethical and internationally illegal use of toxic gas weaponry against the inhabitants. The conflict has been, naturally, initiated by the act of colonial transgression on the region and by the opposite guerrilla operations led by Mohammed Abdel-Krim El Khattabi, a world-renowned brilliant war tactician whose militant resistance plans inspired freedom fighters all over the world, including the infamous Che Guevara. When France intervened militarily in coordination with Spanish fortifications in 1924, the dynamics of the Rif conflict changed. A massive Spanish troop landing at Al-Hoceima, strategically located on the northern edge of the Rif Mountains and the Mediterranean coast, was a watershed moment in history, being the first of its sort in the globe (Bartolomé, p.53). Al-Hoceima, now a tourist destination attracting people and cultures from all over the world, was witness to a landing that, as will be explained later, caused a catastrophe with consequences still felt today.

Two pivotal moments marked the trajectory of the conflict in 1921 and 1924. The Battle of Annual in 1921 witnessed a remarkable victory for local resistance led by Abdel-Karim, causing Spain significant shame, as local farmers without formal military training defeated them. In response, Spain resorted to immoral and illegal tactics to quell Riffian resistance, such as “intelligence-gathering through torture, summary executions, forced labour, rape, and the sadistic killing of military prisoners” (Alonso; Kramer; and Rodrigo, p. 32).

The ‘Traveller’ Arrives, the ‘Traveller’ Narrates, The ‘Traveller’ Conquers 

When I connect with the older members of my community and my own family, and delve into their memories, a recurring theme emerges: injustice. This deep-seated and collective feeling of shared injustice can be traced back to the events of the Rif War, and its roots can be felt from the very moment when the colonial traveller first set foot in the Rif region. This arrival, similar to numerous other instances of colonial invasions, was not a spontaneous decision; rather, it was the result of a history marred by distorted portrayals of Morocco’s native population in the realms of anthropology and art. Consider, as one of many examples, Walter Hariss’s The Land of an African Sultan: Travels in Morocco (1889), in which the Riffian people are described as both independent and self-reliant, yet, by Western ideas of ‘civilisation,’ barbaric and barbarian. This leads us, more importantly, to investigate how the coloniser as a traveller manifested itself in a dual-phase narrative: an initial innocent ‘travel tale’ in which the native is portrayed as uncivilised, followed by a subsequent, more menacing ‘invasion’.

While most political and historical accounts characterise the era of Spanish and French influence in Morocco as a “protectorate” period, I disagree with this terminology when considering the lasting impact on my region and the entire country. In reality, what transpired in the Rif region, and to varying degrees in other parts of Morocco, can be accurately described as straightforward colonialism. The initial encounters of colonial travellers with Morocco, as exemplified by Hariss’ account, involved the distortion and judgement of the indigenous people’s identity, portraying them as ‘savages’ and ‘barbaric humans’ in need of civilization. Subsequently, these colonial travellers not only continued to perpetuate distortions but also solidified their presence, seizing authority and depriving the people of their independence, dignity, and the right to live without subjugation.

For the colonisers, the second journey was an inevitable triumph. Yet, for the colonised, it was a moment of profound trauma. The metamorphosis of a traveller into a monster would take time to process. But, by the time the Riffian people have started processing their trauma, they found themselves facing up other traumas on the way, all linked with this conflict with the visiting ‘colonial traveller’.

An Unjust War 

Wars typically involve clashes between forces of relatively comparable strength, but the dynamics of the Rif War were unique. The local resistance found themselves greatly outnumbered by the invading colonial army. Initially, they employed traditional combat methods but eventually had to transition to guerrilla tactics in order to survive. 

Consider this: a commander described the Riffian people in a confidential letter to the King as “completely obstinate and uncivilised… They detest every benefit of civilization. They are resistant to sympathy and just want to be punished” (Murat and Doreen). Such records portrayed the indigenous Moroccans (Riffians) as barbarians who resisted conquest vehemently and, therefore, deserved no mercy. This oversimplified narrative conceals the true nature of the conflict and reduces the Rif War’s complexities to a simple dichotomy of order and disorder, civilisation and barbarism. The tragedy within this narrative stems from the construction of a distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, giving rise to an ideology that facilitated colonial transgressions. Even today, condemning colonial activities during the Rif War as ‘unjust’ has little practical repercussions, leaving accountability unresolved.

The Spanish colonial military erred in constructing a narrative where it portrayed itself as the “good agent” based on the flawed premise of “self-defence.” Examining the general’s letter to the Spanish King reveals an attempt to justify further abuses, attributing them to the perceived failure of the Riffians to embrace the foundations of “civilization” and suggesting they “just want to be punished.” This flawed ideology enabled the ‘travelling coloniser’ to rationalise an unjust war and violations. The indigenous Riffian people sought liberty and independence, while the colonisers, adopting a broad perspective, justified atrocities under the pretext of “self-defence.” In the colonial period, the conventional notion of self-defence was challenged, raising questions about who initiates attacks and where defence is warranted. Can one legitimately claim self-defence when they are the aggressor? Is indigenous resistance to ‘colonial’ violence a threat requiring colonists to defend themselves? The Rif War’s justification of ‘self-defence’ is fundamentally flawed; authentic self-defence responds to danger inflicted upon you, not the danger you impose on others. The coloniser, entering as an oppressor, engaged in theft and torture, falsely claiming the right to reclaim as an act of self-defense.

It is critical to recognize that the Rif War was unfair not simply because of the vast power disparity between a few of native revolutionaries and a whole Spanish invading force. The injustice became more grave in 1924, when France and Spain joined forces to “civilise” the “uncivilised” Berber people of the Rif. This resulted in the conflict escalating, with any resistance brutally obliterated.

The Inhumanity of the Colonial Traveller and the Dehumanisation of the Riffian 

Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity. — James Baldwin in The Fire Next Time

The brutality of the colonial traveller hits close to home when we examine the plight of the Riffian people. It is not just a distant historical narrative; it is a chilling account of inhumanity that continues to exist today, silently unfolding in our own lives. As the colonising traveller morphs from a seemingly benign visitor to a heartless oppressor, he discards any semblance of universal morality, trampling on the belief in the inherent equality of all humans. This traveller leaves an indelible mark, vividly illustrated in the harrowing pages of the Rif War. 

Shifting focus to other tragedies in the Rif, concurrent with the spread of colonialism, the period from 1911 to 1926 witnessed a devastating famine. This lethal wave was triggered by a combination of factors including drought, locust infestation, war, colonial policies, and social inequalities. The Rif, once home to people living in peace within their tribal system and not requiring external ‘civilization,’ now faced the brutality of a merciless coloniser and a natural disaster. Reportedly, the famine claimed the lives of approximately 700,000 Riffians at that time, constituting about a third of the Rif population.

When I ask some of my community’s elders about the famine, or what if they remember what their elders told them about it, the answer is always paradoxical to me. Of course, they deem famine as one of the most tragic periods in the history of the region, but there is also a common idiom in the region which reads, and I translate from Tarifit, “Famine was better than colonialism”. This sentiment is shared because, as I mentioned, famine came hand in hand with the advent of colonialism in the region. Both have been leading life in the region towards a dark tunnel, yet one from which it came out and survived.

Following the attainment of independence in April 1956 and the end of colonial rule, the people of the Rif region faced what Charles Dickens aptly termed “Hard Times.” The return to normalcy proved to be a formidable challenge, with the echoes of colonialism persisting in the collective consciousness. A familiar postcolonial narrative unfolded, where the native grappled with a sense of inferiority in his own land compared to ostensibly successful Europeans, particularly Spain. The legacy of forced service and conscription of Riffians in World Wars and the Spanish Civil War under Franco further deepened the scars, as many Riffians sacrificed their lives in conflicts not of their choosing. The Spanish forces conscripted 60,000 Moroccan soldiers in their Army of Africa, predominantly Rifians, for the Spanish Civil War led by Franco (Alexander). Tragically, about 20,000 of these soldiers lost their lives in a war that had no connection to them, on foreign soil. What’s even more heart-wrenching is that most of them lie in inaccessible and unknown graves, forgotten like discarded machinery, a narrative where lives stop working, get thrown away, and others move on. This was the tragic tale of those people.

In a post-colonial era, the native Riffian finds themselves adrift in their own land, compelled to seek refuge in the coloniser’s land, seduced by the false promise of a prosperous life. As any decolonial theorist would attest, this promise is a deceptive lure peddled by the oppressor. In my perspective, the fervent drive of the native Riffian, and similarly natives from formerly colonised states, to reach the land of their oppressors stems from an inherent desire to reclaim something rightfully theirs: the labour and subjugation of their own ancestors. However, this pursuit comes at a grave cost—the loss of connection with their own land.  

The native land, once the focal point of all emotions, becomes a desert home, a place to escape, where life loses its vibrancy. This, as asserted in this essay, stands as one of the most perilous outcomes of colonial projects: the disintegration of one’s identity with the land. It is a consequence intricately woven into the fabric of the colonial dehumanisation process. 

What strikes me as particularly troubling is the enduring impact of past dehumanisation. The colonial legacy, as extensively discussed in decolonial literature, ingrains the belief in the colonised that they are inherently ‘lesser’ than the coloniser. As evident in the parameters of this flawed logic, highlighted throughout this essay, the consequences are deeply problematic. Today, I can’t help but feel saddened when I look at the youth of my own culture and region, including myself, having not been able to deconstruct this logic. Despite our apparent liberty, we have made little headway in regaining our sense of human dignity. Instead, we seek acceptance from those who have previously mistreated us, at the expense of our own culture and territory. This is a direct result of the triumph of colonial ideology, and it is clear that decolonization is essential to rid ourselves of this flawed dehumanisation.

Perpetual Suffering & Lack of Accountability: The Unending Legacy of Unethical Actions in Rif 

When I was just 13, my aunt lost her battle to cancer. I watched her deteriorate day by day, a slow and agonising process that left me grappling with the unfairness of it all. Back then, as a kid, the why and how of her suffering eluded me. Even now, with a better understanding of the disease, I find myself still questioning, doubting if there are any answers to the lingering why. She’s likely one among many whose encounter with cancer was sparked by the environmental chemicals that surround their lives. As I’ve detailed throughout this essay, it’s not a choice one seeks but a fate imposed by history—a destiny of fading away that feels inescapable. There are moments when I resent the very idea of being born here. “What’s the purpose? Why all this suffering?” I ask myself, but the answers remain elusive. I curse and then regret even that bitterness. It wasn’t the Rif’s fault that destructive forces targeted every form of life within it. My curses only serve to deepen the wounds of a region already scarred by history.

At her funeral, a congregation gathered to offer condolences to the family and share in their grief. That day marked a stark departure from the routine of my life. It was the first time I truly grasped the weight of death, the profound sense of departure and loss. The atmosphere of that day still lingers vividly, imprinted in my memory. Rain began to fall in the morning, and though it cleared briefly in the early afternoon, we found ourselves in a mosque, praying for her soul’s merciful journey as her body, draped in white, was lowered into the pit that would be her final resting place. As we gathered to witness the burial, rain resumed in the midst of it all. As a child, the contrasting emotions—the hot, blazing sun after a rainy morning turning into heavy rain, people bidding farewell to my aunt, and the realisation of the disease that took her away—stirred something within me, sparking a desire to combat the very affliction that stole her from our home. Moreover, during the discussions that followed the funeral, I discovered that she was not alone; many others shared similar stories of loved ones fading away, victims of the same relentless foe: cancer.

If only the events of the past could be confined to history alone. Yet, history constantly reminds us that we are the products of our predecessors’ actions or inactions. The repercussions of the horrifying events during and after the Rif War persist, refusing to be relegated to a concluded chapter. Spanish colonial forces, as many historians assert, deployed prohibited chemicals such as phosgene, chloropicrin, and mustard gas, causing lasting damage, including heightened cancer rates, genetic mutations, and environmental harm in the Rif region (Reuters). Shockingly, statistics reveal that areas bombed with mustard gas record the highest cancer rates in Morocco, directly impacting 80% of adults and 50% of children with cancer (Casqueiro). Same research indicates that the effects of these chemicals will endure for at least another two centuries, emphasising the ongoing dangers and the fact that the past is not confined to its time but continues to harm those unrelated to the initial events.

Local Moroccan NGOs have diligently worked to highlight this pressing issue faced by the Riffian population daily, endangering the lives of future generations. In 2018, an NGO emphasised the urgent need to address the use of chemical weapons and the resulting tragedies, including the spread of cancerous diseases, in areas bombed by Spanish colonial forces during the conflict (al-Taheri). Despite repeated calls directed at the Spanish parliament, as reported by Reuters, Spain remains resistant to discussions about the use of mustard gas in the Rif region during the Rif War, seemingly prioritising current diplomatic relations with Morocco. Yet, as we’ve acknowledged, the past is not a concluded period, and today is a direct result of yesterday. By refusing to acknowledge this truth, are we not perpetuating future tragedies due to our unwillingness to admit faults and take responsibility? The situation raises numerous questions, but one that resonates personally is encapsulated in the title of a recent article by Pascal Daudin: “The Rif War: A Forgotten War?” It remains forgotten because accountability remains elusive, and solutions for both the remnants of the past and their future remain elusive as well. Addressing this issue seems confounding, with all attempts, whether local or international, met with either silence or unanswered calls.

The distress deepens when considering the lasting impact of toxic remnants in the Rif, persisting for over a century and, as research indicates, likely to endure for at least two more centuries. Beyond highlighting historical wrongs and dispelling myths, my concern lies in how these past injustices continue to devastate lives in the present. Even in the absence of colonisers, cancer rates persist at alarming levels in the region, exacerbated by the absence of a local hospital equipped for cancer treatment. Those afflicted, often with thyroid cancer being the most prevalent, are forced to seek medical care in other parts of Morocco. Given the region’s economic challenges and the associated costs of travelling to cities like Rabat or Casablanca, many Riffians cannot afford the journey and treatment, tragically succumbing to their fate: death.

The local Riffians find themselves weary in their pursuit of justice for their region. In 2016, at the age of 16, I observed the birth of a collective consciousness among the Riffian people. While not the first instance, it was the first I had been alive to witness. Over several months, extensive protests unfolded in the streets, with a significant number of people advocating for social justice, encompassing proper healthcare, education, and dignified living standards. The ‘Hirak of the Rif,’ the movement, was eventually suppressed by Moroccan authorities. Key leaders of the peaceful protests were arrested, and unfounded claims, such as serving foreign interests intending to harm Morocco, were attributed to their intentions. Consequently, they received jail sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years, including teenagers among those detained. Since 2016, the entire region has slipped into a deep slumber. It appears that the causes fervently rallied for have been forgotten, even though they have been absent for over a century and continue to be absent today. No one seems to be bothered, or, to put it differently, no one appears bothered enough to risk losing two precious decades in jail merely for demanding justice for a people and a land that is loudly crying out for it.

The prevailing inability of the region and its people to bring about justice has led many Riffians to view their home as a tragic place to escape, a peril not to be imposed on one’s family. Nevertheless, I staunchly reject subscribing to such an attitude toward the land. I previously highlighted the distinct nature of the Rif: a land of both pain and love. It is through the pain that I deeply connect with my love for the region. In the face of every life claimed by cancer in the Rif today, I consciously choose not to flee Morocco or seek refuge in other parts of the country, risking becoming the next victim. Drawing inspiration from Henry Miller’s words, I opt to “stand still like a hummingbird,” confronting the injustices coursing through my veins—a curse inherited, a genetic disorder of historical misfortune. Whether I stay or leave the Rif, the weight of my ancestors’ endured suffering persists, compelling me to bear witness and resist the insidious echoes of a century-old tragedy, with the realisation that more challenges lie ahead.

Where Do We Go from Here? – Some Travel Guides 

The idea for this essay sprouted at the Olive Writers Creative Writing camp during discussions of decolonization with Faith. After the camp concluded, I had to bid farewell to Casablanca and return home. Yes, that word ‘home’ was the thematic core of the entire camp, an elusive concept we all grappled with. I’m not certain if I discovered its true meaning, but I am sure that I feel its vitality within me, working through me to stay alive. My existence is intertwined with the life of my land; I’m alive as long as my land is speaking through me.

Preparing to leave Casablanca and head home to the tight embrace of the Rif Mountains, many voices echoed in my thoughts: Franz Fanon arguing that when violence is the genesis of an injustice, a resolution often demands a measured response of counter-violence. Alice Walker writing that, “Because whatever has happened to humanity, whatever is currently happening to humanity, it is happening to all of us. No matter how far off the screams of pain and terror, we live in one world.” 

Seeking solutions to alleviate the boredom of the lengthy bus journey from Casablanca to Nador, a nine-hour expedition, I found myself also immersed in the pages of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. Baldwin’s words have always held a unique power to resonate with me. On this journey, travelling back to a place I frequently navigate, contemplations of home, belonging, and pain began to take root within me. Around 3 am, during a brief stop before the next leg of the journey, I stepped out, ordered a coffee, and felt the warmth of the liquid coursing through me in the chilly night breeze at an empty gas station. The sky was shrouded in darkness with no moon or stars to marvel at—just a pitch-black canvas, reminiscent of my coffee. In that peculiar moment, as I gazed into nothingness, the concept of home resurfaced in my thoughts, lingering throughout the rest of the journey.

As the bus journeyed into the Rif region around 7 am, I peered through its foggy windows to witness a landscape dominated by drought, deserted houses, and vast emptiness. It felt like a momentary shift into a desert, an unfamiliar sight in these mountainous terrains. There was no internet, no signal, no signs of life—just a forgotten expanse of land. The bus navigated through the morning fog, the only companion to this isolated place. Emerging from the mist, Nador appeared on the horizon. Stepping off the bus, I felt the numbness in half of my body, struggling to carry my weight. Checking my phone, it read 10 am, and the irritating morning sun prompted me to take a cab home to rest. But before that, I wanted to savour the feeling of being home that had been absent throughout the journey.

In Nador, and feeling the essence of the Rif running through me, I embarked on a slow yet steady walk by the seaside, settling for a cup of refreshing tea. Plugging in my headphones, the haunting voice of Khalid Izri, a Riffian-born singer and composer in European exile, enveloped my ears. His song “Thamorth Inu” (My Own Land), widely known in Riffian households, echoed with passionate humming. Translating the lyrics from Tarifit, our mother tongue, the song celebrated the very location under discussion, expressing a shared feeling—an intimacy forged through pain, a strength rather than a weakness. Home, as the song portrayed, isn’t always about triumph; it consistently embodies a sense of being and becoming whole. The latter two are intimately connected with the process of dealing with pain, not evading it.

“My Own Land” 

I have my own land, 
A land that stands as the mother of all lands. 
Its grass gleams as brilliantly as snow upon the mountains, 
Its beauty surpasses all worldly comparisons. 
Even if you traverse the entire world from start to finish, seeking its likeness, you’ll fail. I have my own land, the mother of all lands. 

I possess my own land, the mother of all lands. 
The coast of Buyafar, a pearl within a necklace, 
Incomparable, not even to the moon. 
You radiate in red brilliance, urging us to halt our steps, 
Your water is as crystal-clear as a satisfying clear sky. 

I possess my own land, the mother of all lands. 
The mountain of Uhadruf, your breeze is captivating, 
A mercy that quenches flames, 
People come to visit from dusk to dusk, 
To confess within your breeze, guarded by none. 

I possess my own land, the mother of all lands. 
The Rif, the Rif, in both winter and summer, 
You are a flower upon which we may rest our heads, 
You embody joy; you, indeed, are the Rif. 
I have my own land, the queen of all lands.

Intimacy Embracing Life after Colonial Catastrophe Azzeddine Tajjiou Berber Combatants in the Rif War

Azzeddine Tajjiou

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Azzeddine Tajjiou is a creative writer, a doctoral researcher, and a Guest Contributor for Panorama. He studies Cultural Studies at the Multidisciplinary Faculty of Nador, Mohamed 1st University in Morocco, with a focus on Colonial and Post-Colonial discourse. He is an expert on African Literature and Film of the 20th and 21st centuries. He has published his academic and artistic work in various platforms and mediums, and has participated in national and international conferences and workshops. He is also an alumnus of the 2023 Olive Writers Creative Writing Program.

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