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description Journal article public Runas

Against the Homeland: Popular Exilic Antagonism Through “Azzouz is Mad”

Rachid Benharrousse
Published 2020

Abstract

The Moroccan Diasporic Youtubers are silenced or neglected because they use vulgar language, and although they are becoming part of the Moroccan popular culture, researchers seem to overlook their socio-political views on Morocco. Thus, the article would investigate how Richard Azzouz, the most famous Moroccan Diasporic Youtuber, views Morocco and its citizens. Azzouz views Morocco as a place of slavery and oppression because Morocco is a kingdom with its own Monarchy. Azzouz represents Stephane Dufoix's “Antagonistic Mode” since he is against the nation-state and resents the 'Arab' culture it promotes. He tries to value the Amazigh identity over the Arab one by valuing the American identity. Yet, his attempt to value Amazigh identity becomes a devaluation of his own identity because his ‘Americanness' is better than all other identities. The use of the video “Azzouz is Mad” through careful reading uncovers his claims of ‘superiority' and ‘freedom' since he associates himself with the United States. The contextual approach moves outside the text to trace how Azzouz and the Moroccan youth perceive Morocco as a prison. Then, the paper argues that the vision of Morocco as a place of slavery is shared by the Moroccan diasporas and Moroccan youth. Azzouz, similar to other diasporic YouTubers, associates himself with the host land for legitimacy, yet Azzouz falls in a paradox: the position that grants him legitimacy negates his views of valorization. Thus, the paper gives voice to the socio-political views of Azzouz and, through him, all the Moroccan Antagonist exiles; while, also, it traces the slippages in his discourse.

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