Sex and Lies in Morocco Roundtable

Friday, March 3, 2023 - 14:00 to 15:00

Karim Boukhari (journalist; filmmaker) and Sonia Terrab (activist; writer; documentary filmmaker) will be interviewed by Dr Rita Sakr (MU Department of English) & Dr Julie Anne Rodgers (MU French Studies).

This event is an MU collaboration with EROSS@DCU, in conjunction with the Irish Network for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (INMENAS) and under the aegis of the French Embassy in Ireland and Alliance Française.

Founded in September 2019 by filmmaker Sonia Terrab and writer Leila Slimani, following their manifesto “We, Moroccans, are outlaws”, the Moroccan Outlaws NGO is focused on the rights of youth, women, and the LGBT+ community. It has a strong audience on social media (+150k followers and growing, with a reach of millions), provoking debate, challenging long-held taboos and stigma, and raising awareness on gender justice and sexuality issues. It was awarded the “Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women's Freedom”, on January 9th, 2020; this was accepted in Paris by Sonia Terrab and Leila Slimani on behalf of the organization. Its goal is to open an important national debate and make an appeal to the parliament and institutions to demand the repeal of arbitrary laws that penalize individual freedoms in Morocco: abortion, sexual relations outside wedlock, and homosexuality. These are laws that were inherited from French colonizers and cause Moroccans to suffer daily, especially the poorest and most vulnerable who are subjected to pressure, extortion, and humiliation.

Sonia Terrab is the author of two published novels and a creative filmmaker. She directed several documentaries, including Shakespeare in Casablanca (2017; Dublin International Film Festival 2023) produced by Nabil Ayouch, and web series, including Marokkiat (2018). Through her work, she repeatedly breaks social taboos and draws attention to social problems such as sexual illiteracy, sexual harassment, rape, the promotion of men’s roles in support of gender equality in both public and private spheres, and marginalization amongst Moroccan youth. Together with writer Leila Slimani, she founded in 2019 “Moroccan Outlaws” (Collective 490).

Karim Boukhari, has been the editor-in-chief of several magazines, including the weekly magazine “Telquel”, flagship of the independent press in Morocco. He is now managing the monthly history magazine “Zamane”. He also directed his first short movie “The Wig” in 2015, which has been shown in many festivals, including the official selection of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the Stockholm International Film Festival, the Festival de Cine Africano-FCAT, and the exhibition “Habibi” at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. This was followed by “Aziya” in 2020, his second short movie, selected in the Fespaco (Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou), Tangier National Film Festival, and Alexandria Short Film Festival.

Location: Room 1.33 Iontas Building, First floor
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