March 2, 12 PM PST: "Narrating Belonging: Haratin Performance of Indigeneity Through Moroccan Jewish History and Artifacts, 1934-1956" with Moyagaye Bedward

This talk will explore how the Haratin, a community marginalized because of their putative slave ancestry, engages in memory and cultural preservation as means of cultivating a sense of local and national belonging in Morocco. It explores how the Haratin have made great strides in problematizing, and combatting notions that they are not indigenous to Morocco, and thereby their Africanity, through the preservation of local Jewish history and artifacts. Talk centers on the Haratin in two places in the Anti-Atlas, in Aqqa and Zagora. In the first, in Aqqa, a small desert town outside of Tata, the Haratin have preserved the homes and synagogues of the Jews who once were their neighbors, but left in the 1960s. While in Zagora, Haratin recount with great fondness how they lit candles for Jews during Shabbat, preserving memories like this and others, of the Jewish people that lived alongside them. These tales of neighborliness are striking in the pride with which the Haratin remembers and cares for the Jewish artifacts. They are also remarkable because, through the preservation and telling of Jewish history, the Haratin have begun to establish that their undeniable place in the Moroccan national patrimony.

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Also please be on the lookout for other upcoming events in the series!

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