Theorizing Intergenerational Trauma in Tazmamart Testimonial Literature and Docu-testimonies


  • Brahim El Guabli Princeton University



Trauma, Tazmamart, Intergenerational, Memory, Transmission, Years of Lead, Women, Children


Drawing on testimonial writings by the wives of Tazmamart prisoners and two documentary films (docu-testimonies) about this notorious disappearance camp, I argue that Tazmamart-induced traumas are intergenerational. Approached as a continuum, Tazmamart-induced traumas reveal the intergenerational transference of trauma from mothers to children in the pre-discursive period. In this article, I specifically focus my analysis on the pre-discursive period—a time when families did not articulate their traumas in spoken words in the presence of the children and during which Tazmamart was not a matter of public discourse in Morocco. This theorization of intergenerational transference of traumatic experiences will shift scholarly attention from individual experiences to the collective memory of the “Years of Lead” in its intergenerational dimensions.


Brahim El Guabli, Princeton University

completed his PhD in Comparative Literature at Princeton University. He is Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies at Williams College, where he teaches courses on Maghrebi and Middle Eastern literatures. His work probes questions of archives, memory, and strategies of rewriting history in contexts of mass violence in the Maghreb and the Middle East. His journal articles have appeared in Interventions, Arab Studies Journal, and The Journal of North African Studies, among others. Brahim is the author of published and forthcoming book chapters, including “Testimony and Journalism: Moroccan Prison Narratives.”





El Guabli, B. „Theorizing Intergenerational Trauma in Tazmamart Testimonial Literature and Docu-Testimonies“. Middle East - Topics &Amp; Arguments, Bd. 11, November 2018, S. 120-3, doi:10.17192/meta.2018.11.7791.