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Title: Casablanca Belongs to Us: Globalisation, Everyday Life and Postcolonial Subjectivity in Moroccan Cinema since the 1990s
Author(s): Bahmad, Jamal
Supervisor(s): Murphy, David
Keywords: Moroccan Cinmea
Postcolonial City
Everyday Life
Arab Spring
Urban Cinema
North Africa
African Cinema
Social Change
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This dissertation examines the representations of Casablanca in Moroccan cinema and their articulation of postcolonial subjectivity since the 1990s. To overcome a deep economic recession and simmering social unrest in the early 1980s, Morocco embarked on a comprehensive programme of structural adjustment policies under the aegis of the International Monetary Fund. Market reforms ushered in novel forms of spatial development and social relations in Moroccan cities over the next decades. In the cultural field, a popular cinema emerged in the early 1990s and has projected the complex structures of everyday life in urban space. The New Urban Cinema (NUC) has anchored national cinema in the everyday life and affective economy of a society in transition. The country’s largest city, Casablanca, is the setting for some of NUC’s most original portrayals of the Moroccan subject under globalisation. Taking space, affect and violence as intertwined sites of film analysis, my research project closely examines the new forms of postcolonial subjectivity that have evolved in Morocco through this cinema. Twenty films are read against the backdrop of neoliberal Casablanca and the social, economic as well as political transformation of Morocco and the world under globalisation. The dissertation combines close textual analysis with a cultural studies perspective, which situates films in their historical contexts of production and reception in Morocco and beyond. Drawing on postcolonial, film and urban studies, my aim is to contribute to interdisciplinary scholarship on cinematic responses to neoliberal globalisation, and to a social history of contemporary Morocco.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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