"Rifolution": Songs of the Hirak of the Rif Against the Repression of the Makhzen (2017-2021)

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In 2011, North Africa experienced a cycle of revolts against post-colonial regimes.
Although there were some common elements to the revolts, such as the struggle against
the lack of human rights or the existence of great social inequalities, it should be noted
that each local population expressed its own particularities. This was the case in the Rif,
an Amazigh region in northern Morocco, where the accumulation of previous protests in
the 20th century did not stop in 2011 but exploded in 2017 with the Hirak movement. In
this article I will analyse the historical roots of this movement and look at the role played
by oral culture and protest songs in the political dynamics of the Hirak. The Moroccan
state (Makhzen) and the army were the main focus of criticism of the songs and slogans
in the demonstrations. With the arrest of its main informal leaders, such as Nasser
Zefzafi, songs denouncing the repression and linking the current protest to mythical
figures from the Rifian past, in particular ‘Abd al-Krim al-Khattabi, also emerged as an
emblem of the struggle against central power.
Translated title of the contribution"Rifolution": Canciones del Hirak del Rif contra la represión del majzen (2017-2021)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-62
Number of pages24
JournalAfriche e Orienti
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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