Jamal Bahmad is an assistant professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco. He earned his PhD from the University of Stirling, United Kingdom, with a dissertation on Moroccan urban cinema since 1990s. He has held a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Leeds and, prior to that, was a research fellow at Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany. Dr. Bahmad specializes and has published widely in the field of North African cultural studies with a focus on cinema, cities, literature, memory, and youth cultures. He is currently working on his first monograph on Moroccan urban cinema since the 1990s and a co-edited special issue of French Cultural Studies (SAGE Journals, 2017) on trash cultures in the Francophone world.
To foreground and put into practice some of Moroccan cinema's peacebuilding potential, this research project will situate this cinematic reconfiguration of state-sponsored violence within the historical and social transformations of post-colonial Morocco. Due to its popularity and large influence as a mass medium, cinema is an apposite site for a critical account of the place of violence and its reconfigurations by Moroccan audiences in a post-dictatorship country still looking for sustainable ways to maintain political and and social peace while preventing similar conflicts in the future. In other words, this research project aims to unearth the complex relationship between Moroccan people and political violence in their memories of the past and current engagements with a rapidly changing world. This task will be carried out through a focus on Moroccan cinema's as yet unexplored peacebuilding potential. Despite the existence of a few academic articles and book chapters on the representation of political violence in Moroccan cinema, there is as yet no academic study on how this cinema can serve as a platform for sustainable peace and peacebuilding knowledge for policymakers at home and abroad. The present study aims to foreground and conceptualise this peacebuilding potential in two major ways: first, by exploring how Moroccan cinema has not only uncovered the root causes of political violence in post-colonial Morocco, but also foregrounded possible ways of sustaining peace by preventing recurrences of conflict and human rights abuses in the future; second, by bringing together victims and perpetrators under the same roof to watch a couple of films and reflect on their involvement in and quest for redemption from the various forms of political violence that characterised the first four decades of post-colonial Morocco.