On Memory, Remembering and Mourning in the Maghrib Since the Tunisian Revolution

Episode 103

On Memory, Remembering and Mourning in the Maghrib Since the Tunisian Revolution

In this podcast, Dr. Idriss Jebari contemplates the outpouring of memory from the former leftists of the Perspectives movement, following the 2011 Tunisian Revolution. In a series of published memoirs, the likes of Gilbert Naccache, Fethi Ben Haj Yahia and others take their readers from their experience of prison in the sixties and seventies, as well as their reflections on critical moments of Tunisia's political transition, particularly transitional justice and national reconciliation. Through these memoirs, Dr. Jebari explores how they could help write new histories for the Tunisian people: one that is plural and democratic. On the ten-year anniversary of the Revolution, after unprecedented transformations and the global pandemic, we are reminded of the fleeting nature of memory in light of the tragic passing of several figures from the Maghrib's past. 


Dr. Idriss Jebari is Al Maktoum Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies at Trinity College Dublin. His work investigates the distinctiveness of the Maghribi critique of modernity in contemporary Arab intellectual and cultural history. He completed a doctorate on the history of the production of critical thought in Morocco and Tunisia at the University of Oxford on the intellectual projects of Moroccan thinker Abdallah Laroui and Tunisian thinker Hichem Djaït. He then held an Arab Council for Social Sciences postdoctoral fellowship at the American University of Beirut to study the dynamics of intellectual and cultural exchanges between the Maghrib and the Mashriq after 1967. He has published on the intellectual projects of several North African intellectual figures such as Abdelkebir Khatibi, Mohamed Abed al-Jabri and Malek Bennabi, and how the younger generations remember this intellectual heritage and the Arab Left. He is currently working on his first book manuscript that will address the critical societal debates that shaped North Africa's path today modernity in the sixties and seventies.


This podcast was recorded between Tunis and Dublin on January 8, 2021, by the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) and the Centre d'Études Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA) and is part of the special podcast series, "The Ten-Year Anniversary of Tunisia's Revolution (January 14, 2021)." The podcast was introduced by Dr. Robert P. Parks, CEMA Director.

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We thank Yesser Jradi for his interpretation of "Narja3lk dima." A talented artist, Yesser is a painter and musician with interests in cinema and theatre.


Posted by Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).


Suggested Bibliography


Andrieu, Kora (et al.) 2016. Contrasting notions of history and collective memory in Tunisia. The teaching of recent history and the figure of Bourguiba today. Tunis: Baromètre de la Justice Transitionnelle. 


Ayari, Michaël Béchir. 2009. "Tolérance et transgressivité: le jeu à somme nulle des gauchistes et des islamistes tunisiens." L'Année du maghreb V: 183-203.  


Ben Haj Yahia, Fethi. 2009. al-Habs kadhab wa al-hay yaruh. Waraqat min dafa'ir al-yasar fi zaman al-burqibi. Tunis: ‘Abirat.


Bouguerra, Abdeljalil. 2012. Fusul min tarikh al-yasar al-tunisi. Kayfa wjaha al-shuyu'iyun was birbiktif nitham al-hizb al-wahid, 1963-1981. Tunis: Dar al-Afaq. 


Chouikha, Larbi. 2010. "Évoquer la mémoire politique dans un context autoritaire: 'l'extrème gauche' tunisienne entre mémoire du passé et identité présente." L'Année du Maghreb VI: 427-440. 


El-Guabli, Brahim. 2012. "A New Wave of Prison Writings After the Arab Uprisings?" Reset Dialogues on Civilization. 


Farhat Zeineb. 2020. Bnat essiassa. Tunis: Association Zanoobya.


Gana, Nouri (ed.). 2013. The Making of the Tunisian Revolution: Contexts, Architects, Prospects. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


Instance Vérité et Réconciliation Tunisie. 2016. "Gilbert Naccache: jalasat al-'istima' li-dahaya al-'istibdad." (17 novembre)


Kréfa, Abir. 2019. Écrits, genre et autorité. Enquête en Tunisie. Lyon: ENS Editions.


Naccache, Gilbert. 2009. Qu'as-tu fait de ta jeunesse?: Itinéraires d'un opposant au régime de Bourguiba, 1954-1979; suivi de Récits de prison. Paris: Éditions du Cerf; Tunis: Mots Passants.


Omri, Mohamed-Salah. 2018. "Dissident Writing, Law and Transitional Justice in Tunisia," International Colloquium: 'Literature, Democracy and Transitional Justice'," University of Oxford and Maison Française d'Oxford.


Othmani, Ahmed. 2008. Beyond Prison. The Fight to Reform Prison Systems around the World. Oxford: Berghahn Books.


Omri, Mohamed-Salah. 2020. "Being Gilbert Naccache: A Tunisian Life in Politics and Literature," Nawaat (December).


Temimi, Abdeljelil. 2008. Siminar al-dhakirah al-wataniyah was-tarikh al-zaman al-hadi al-juz' al-thalith: hawla al-dawr al-siyasi was al-thaqafi li-birsbaktif wa al-birisibaktifiyin fi Tunis al-mustaqillah. Tunis: Mu'assat al-Tamimi lil--bahth al-‘ilmi wa al-ma‘lumat.