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Issue #1

APRIL 2023

  • Editorial [EN] - Hisham Aïdi, Aomar Boum, Brahim El Guabli, and Zakia Salime

  • Introduction: Souffles: Fifty Years Later - Hisham Aïdi [EN, FR]

  • Amaⵣ(z)iⵖ(gh) Proⵜesⵜ Music of ⵜhe Rif Region - Mohamed Oubenal [EN, FR]

  • Constructing National Identity in School History Curriculum - Ali Mouryf [EN]

  • The Status of Black Moroccan Women: Color and Gender Stigmas - Yassine Yassni [EN]

  • Motherhood and Transitional Justice in Morocco - Najwa Belkziz (EN, FR]

  • Rethinking Racism in Countries of the Global South: Sub-Saharan Migration in Morocco - Fatima Ait Ben Lmadani [EN]

  • Herstory: Racialization and Mediation in Colonial Morocco - Zakia Salime [EN, FR]

  • Bahá'is in Northwest Africa: A Transnational History of Religion, Race, and Ethnicity - Aomar Boum [EN, FR]

  • Racialization in Exile: Allal al-Fassi's Racial Positionalities in Gabon - Brahim El Guabli [EN, FR]

  • Serfaty's Letter to Ammiel Alcalay [FR]

    • Engaged Responsibility: A Commentary - Aomar Boum [EN]

  • Decolonizing Gnawa Music - Hisham Aïdi [EN, FR]

Issue #2



Issue #2

Abdellatif Laâbi : The Lead Founder

Born in Fès in 1942, Abdellatif Laâbi is a poet, writer, playwright, literary critic and translator. He studied French literature at the Université Mohammed V in Rabat. In 1963, he launched Moroccan university theater as he taught French at a lycée in Rabat. In 1966, Laâbi founded the literary journal Souffles (Anfas) in collaboration with Mohammed Khair Eddine and others. The journal became popular among Moroccan leftists. After the March 1965 protests, he joined the Party of Liberation and Socialism and Ila al-amam movement. In January 1972, he was arrested and condemned to 10 years in prison in Kenitra. He was released in 1980 and moved to France where he developed his literary career. Laâbi received the Prix Goncourt de la poésie in 2009 and Mahmoud Darwish Award for Culture and Creativity in 2020 among many other prizes. In 2002, Laâbi published his autobiographical novel Le fond de la jarre.

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A translated letter from Abdellatif Laâbi to Souffles Monde

Six years ago, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Souffles’ establishment in Rabat. The event, which lasted for three days and included an international colloquium, exhibits, debates, and recitals, brought together the majority of the living participants in this adventure and allowed us to pay homage to those men and women who left us along the way. On this occasion, we succeeded in republishing Souffles’ complete issues in both French and Arabic and have since made them available to the public.​

And now there is the major event of the publication of Souffle Monde’s first issue in the United States! I believe that this is a very strong sign of the sustainability of the spirit of a publication that only lasted for a few years in the middle of the past century : a « fiery season*», as I have written elsewhere, where forms of literary and artistic expression as well as critical thought in Morocco, and beyond the Maghreb, have been transformed completely; where the trial of colonial domination, particularly in the cultural arena, took place in a radical manner, which dealt with the question of identity in a precocious and remarkable pertinence.​


That a new generation feels the need to reactivate the spirit of Souffles fills me with joy. The fact that the editorial team and the collaborators hail from diverse horizons and that the Maghrebis among them work and take action in their country of origin or in the diaspora will contribute, without any doubt, to the expansion of the journal’s vision and its field of investigation. The universal, which had always been the indefectible horizon of the predecessors, will necessarily become even more reinforced by the successors.To these women and men, I say courage! And good luck to Souffles Monde!

Abdellatif Laâbi
Créteil, March 21, 2023

Translated from the French by Brahim El Guabli 
*See Une saison ardente. Souffles, cinquante ans après. Coédition Éditions du Sirocco (Casablanca) et Fondation Laâbi pour la culture, 2016.


Read the exclusive letter in its original French version to Souffles Monde from Abdellatif Laâbi here.

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Souffles: The Platform of Post-colonial Subjectivity

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Souffles was launched in March 1966, in Rabat, Morocco, ten years after Morocco’s independence and only four years after the Algerian war of independence (1954-1962) ended. The moment of the journal’s establishment was rife with post-colonial struggles, transnational solidarities, and relentless endeavors to create a different and new world order.  Led by poet Abdellatif Laâbi in collaboration with poets Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine and  Mostafa Nissaboury, who had already started Poésie Toute in 1964, this small group of literary figures was joined by artists Mohamed Melehi, Mohammed Chabaâ, and Farid Belkahia from the Casablanca School. Abraham Serfaty, an associate of Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panthers then based in Algiers who would later become one of Morocco's most well-known political prisoners, joined the editorial board in 1968, marking the political turn in the journal’s trajectory. In a matter of a few years Souffles became a node, a medium and interface in the intellectual, political and artistic production of a nascent Moroccan postcolonial subjectivity. Faced with the traditional language used then, Souffles’ editors strove to renew language as a segue into a larger renewal of literature, thought, and society.
Although postcolonial Morocco had several Arabic cultural journals, Souffles’ publication in 1966 marked a departure from the prevalent literary and intellectual discourses. Before it was officially banned in 1972 and its editors Laâbi and Serfaty arrested respectively 1972 and 1974, the journal turned the linguistic and literary scenes in Morocco upside down. It announced the advent of a new dawn, and its authors were the heralds of a Morocco that fully embraced its post-coloniality to reorder the priorities of a decolonizing world in conversation with like-minded people across the globe. Part of embracing this post-coloniality was replacing the stale and archaic language of culture and literature by a fiery and rebellious aesthetics that imploded language from within. Linguistic guerilla, as it came to be known, tarted language as a site of literary renewal and cultural regeneration, and Souffles played a crucial role in this effort.


Find out more about Souffles original volumes (1966-1972).

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Our Mission


Our aim is to resurrect the magazine Souffles, which fifty years ago, was a flagship journal of the pan-African and Third World Left. Our hope is to use this publication as a platform for academic exchange across Africa.

Conceived as an online journal and platform which will host different conversations.... Read more

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Podcast #1


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Podcast #2


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Souffles Magazine: 1966-1972

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