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Festival Gnaoua

The Festival Forum


Human Rights Forum

23 - 24 June 2023, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Hotel Atlas Essaouira & Spa « Salle la Caravelle »


Continuing a tradition begun in 2012, for every edition the Gnaoua and World Music festival forum invites researchers as well as political, community and cultural leaders to discuss a particular theme for two consecutive morning sessions. In parallel to musical performances, the forum thus offers a free space to the public, illustrating another dimension of the philosophy of the festival, based upon its mission to connect the multi-secular tradition of Gnaoua music and world music. This year the forum has chosen the theme of “Identity and Belonging”, a redhot issue in a world shaken by identity-related tensions and the rejection of otherness. Indeed, identitary debate has taken centre stage to a degree never before seen. Nationalism and defensive identity politics have rarely been more popular, particularly in Europe and America. But they are not alone. How can we explain this phenomenon, and what does it represent? Where will these identitary tensions lead? Is universalism a thing of the past, leaving the way open for “us”, to the exclusion of everyone else? Populist identitary discourse celebrates the bygone days of ancestors, but in retrospect, aren’t these ancestors’ views stunted, severed from their former glory: a desire for confluence, open-mindedness toward other cultures, generous curiosity and eagerness for exchange? In a world where humans have never been more mobile, how can we articulate national identity, hospitality, and the sense of belonging? Can (or should) these notions be conjugated in the plural, without assignation of any kind? What space can be made for new, post-migration generations to freely define themselves? Are we forever and always defined by “blood and soil”?



Hisham Aidi
Political scientist and documentarist - USA/Morocco

Bouchera Azzouz
Director and essayist - France/Morocco

Ali Benmakhlouf
Professor at Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique and Director of the Center for African Studies - France/Morocco

Raja Ben Slama
Professor of Arab civilisation and psychoanalyst - Tunisia

Patrick Boucheron
Professor - Historian, Collège de France - France

Aomar Boum
Professor of Anthropology and History at UCLA - USA/Morocco

Nadia Bouras
Historian – author, professor and Moroccan migration and integration in the Netherlands expert - Netherlands/Morocco

Yasmine Chami
Historian, anthropologist and novelist - Morocco

Mustapha El Miri
Sociologist, lecturer in sociology at Université Aix Marseille - Research at the Laboratoire d’Économie et de Sociologie du Travail - France/Morocco

Minino Garay
Musician – Argentina

Ilham Kadri
CEO at Solvay - Belgium/Morocco

Yacouba Konaté
Professor and author, Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny Ivory Coast

Fouad Laroui
Writer - Morocco

Marco Martiniello
Research director at Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FRS-FNRS) and director of CEdEM (Centre d’Etudes de l’Ethnicité et des Migrations) at Université de Liège - Belgium

Fadila Mehal
Founding president of Marianne de la diversité, vice-president of the Robert Schuman Institute, elected representative of Paris - France/Algeria

Hassan Rachik
Anthropologist, Professor at Université Polytechnique Mohammed VI, Rabat - Morocco

Mohamed Sghir Janjar
Doctor of Anthropology - Morocco

Mohamed Tozy
Professor at Sciences Po - Morocco

Robert Wisdom
Actor – USA



Friday June 23rd 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
Hotel Atlas Essaouira & Spa « Salle la Caravelle »

9h30 : Welcome to participants
Opening session
• Neila Tazi
• Driss El Yazami



10h00 - 11h00 : First session
Identity and Belonging What do history and philosophy tell us?
A dialogue between Patrick Boucheron and Ali Benmakhlouf
Moderated by Mohamed Sghir Janjar
Question and answer session
11h15 - 12h00 : Second session
Identity-related tensions, a universal evil?
Distrust toward foreigners/immigrants seems to be growing on all fronts, but it is far from the only form of rejection on otherness. Over the past several decades, rejection of “the other” has spread to include fellow citizens and neighbours, both formerly accepted. How can we explain these different forms of distrust? Do they affect all societies, and what are the key issues?
With Yasmine Chami , Yacouba Konaté, Ilham Kadri, Hisham Aïdi
Question and answer session



12:30 : Guest speaker : André Azoulay
Question and answer session



Saturday June 24th 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
Hotel Atlas Essaouira & Spa « Salle la Caravelle »

9h30 : Welcome to participants



10h00 - 10h45 : Third session
Serene identities and fraternal universalism
Since the end of the Second World War, the international community has sought to develop a shared human vision for the development of international law (notably in terms of human rights) as well as a diversity of multilateral international and regional institutions. In today’s world, can we say that non-lethal identity dynamics still exist? Is the existing international framework capable of limiting the current crises that affect our societies and relations between nations?
With Hassan Rachik, Mustapha El Miri, Raja Ben Slama
Question and answer session
11h00 - 11h45 : Fourth session
Migration and human mobility: dynamics and effects
Though human migration only accounts for 3% of the global population, migration is met with fear and rejection in many societies. Images conveyed of a North besieged by “crowds” from the South are the work of political groups, which ignore the diverse forms of human mobility, in which south/south flow is much more significant than south/north flow. What are the principal migratory dynamics and their lasting impacts on societies in the North and South?
With Marco Martiniello, Nadia Bouras, Bouchera Azzouz, Minino Garay
Question and answer session



12h00-13h00 : Fifth session
Individuals, communities, and nations: is there a need for identity?
Attachment to a set of values and cultural or spiritual markers does not immediately preclude the acceptance of others. For individuals as well as groups, this sort of attachment seems both inescapable and necessary, and does not inevitably lead to barriers and rejection. But when this rejection occurs, what does it tell us about societies and the state of the world today?
With Fouad Laroui, Aomar Boum, Robert Wisdom, Fadila Mehal, Mohamed Tozy
Question and answer session

Closing session : Driss El Yazami



iHisham Aïdi (USA/Morocco)
Political scientist and documentarist

Hisham Aïdi is a political scientist as well as a documentary filmmaker. He is a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York, and has consulted and contributed to speechwriting for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Report. He is the author of many works on economic development, social movements and cultural policy. His most recent book, Rebel Music, received the American Book Award in 2015. He also directed the documentary film A Thousand and One Berber Nights, on the topics of Moroccan migration and American music, scheduled for programming on the 2M Moroccan channel in September.


iBouchera Azzouz (France/Morocco)
Director and essayist

Bouchera Azzouz is a director and essayist from Bobigny in Seine Saint-Denis. Through her films, she offers an original interpretation of immigration’s historical crossroads and working-class districts, through a prism of female and plural perspectives. The history of She re-establishes the female narrative as inseparable from immigration and—ultimately— the social question, opening a new perspective to explore the processes of integration, identity, and citizenship as well as systemic struggles for equality and emancipation. This empirical approach has led to founding the idea of “working-class feminism”, which she analyses in the documentary trilogy (aired on France 2): “Nos m ères nos daronnes”, “On nous appelait beurettes”, and “Meufs de [LA] Cit é”. 3 films for 3 generations of women and a common place concept, these women drive a powerful emancipatory dynamic, at the origin of major evolutions in the modus vivendi and in society.


iPatrick Boucheron (France)
Professor - Historian, Collège de France

Patrick Boucheron is a professor at the Collège de France, where he holds the “History of Western European Powers, 13th-16th Centuries” Chair. Specialist in medieval Italy, he is also interested in the writing and epistemology of history, and defends the public uses of his discipline, in particular by offering programs on Arte or France Inter. His inaugural lecture, Ce que peut l’histoire (2015), has been translated into Arabic by the En toutes lettres publishing house in 2018, and Histoire du monde au XV e si ècle—the book he directed in 2009— was translated into Arabic in Morocco by the King Abdul-Aziz Al Saoud Foundation in 2022.


iAomar Boum (USA/Morocco)
Professor of Anthropology and History at UCLA

Aomar Boum is a professor of anthropology and history at UCLA, where he holds the Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies and co-directs the program of Moroccan Jewish Studies. Originally from the Lamhamid oasis in Tata, Boum is interested in the position of religious minorities such as Jews, Baha’i, Shiites and Christians in Middle Eastern and North Africa after independence. He is the author of ten books-including Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco-and over 140 articles, among other projects. His recent publications include Wartime North Africa: A Documentary History, 1934-1950 (in collaboration with Sarah Stein) and Undesirables: A Holocaust Journey through North Africa (with artist Nadjib Berber). Boum is currently working on a book-manuscript entitled Morocco and the Holocaust: The Story of Mohammed V Saving Jews during WWII, 1940-2022 (in collaboration with Daniel Schroeter).


iMustapha El Miri (France/Morocco)
Sociologist, lecturer in sociology at Université Aix Marseille - Research at the Laboratoire d’Économie et de Sociologie du Travail

Mustapha El Miri is a lecturer in sociology at Université d’Aix-Marseille and researcher at the Laboratoire d’Économie et de Sociologie du Travail. His research focuses upon the sociology of migrations and racism, social policy, economic sociology, sociology of the state, sociology of globalisation and political sociology. He has published several articles and works, including the recent collaboration with Delphine Mercier and Kamel Dorai entitled “Comment l’Europe a sous-traité l’enclavement des réfugiés syriens au Moyen-Orient”. He currently directs MIJMA, an international research group that explores the issue of African minors and youths migrating to Europe.


iMinino Garay (Argentina)

Minino Garay is an eclectic musician who defies categories, with a genius for rhythm, a racing mind and natural inquisitiveness. Raised in an environment steeped in popular Argentinian music, this artist continually draws inspiration from his origins to then confront them to other genres and diverse rythmic traditions. An innate sense of fusion that has allowed him to share the stage with major figures such as Mercedes Sosa, Jaime Torres, Jairo, Chango Farias Gómez, Los Coplanacu, Kevin Johansen, Ibrahim Maalouf, Magic Malik, Richard Bona, Richard Galliano, Daniel Mille, Jackie Terrason, and more. Since the 1999 release of his first album, “Minino Garay y los Tambores del Sur”, and his discovery of the spoken word-the New York poet-activist movement that emerged toward the end of the sixties and became a precursor to slam-, Minino Garay has naturally fused spiritual influences with tango. In 2022, he devoted a full album-Speaking Tangoto the genre, giving power to words and making them dance, with a more contemporary musical style.


iFouad Laroui (Morocco)

Fouad Laroui is an engineer from the Ponts et Chaussées, with a master in mining engineering and a PhD in economics. He is also a novelist and literary critic. He has taught economics in Cambridge, York and SaintQuentin-en-Yvelines, then environmental science at the ‘Vrije Universiteit’, then literature at the University of Amsterdam. He currently teaches philosophy of science UM6P. He also continues his diverse literary career in several languages. He received the Goncourt Short Story Prize in 2013 and the Grande Médaille de l’Académie Française in 2014. He is Chevalier des Arts et Lettres de la République française as well as Chevalier dans l’Ordre du Trône (Morocco). In 2019, he was named as a member of the CSMD (Commission Spéciale du Modèle de Développement) by Morocco’s King, His Majesty Mohammed VI.


iMarco Martiniello (Belgium)
Research director at Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FRS-F NRS) and director of CEdEM (Centre d’Etudes de l’Ethnicité et des Migrations) at Université de Liège

Marco Martiniello is research director at Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FRS-FNRS) and director of CEDEM (Centre d’études de l’ethnicité et des migrations) at Université de Liège, where he teaches sociology of migrations , inter-ethnic relations and racism. He presides over the Doctoral College in Political and Social Sciences at the same university. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the European research network, IMISCOE. He was president of the International Sociology Association’s “Sociology of Migrations” research committee until 2014. He was a guest lecturer or researcher at Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, University of Malmö (Sweden), Sciences Po Paris, University of Warwick (Great Britain) University of Queensland (Australia), University of Kwazulu Natal (Durban, South Africa), European University Institute (Florence, Italy), at the College of Europe (Natolin, Poland), City University of New York, and University of Geneva. His works deal with issues of political sociology. He focuses upon connections between the arts, culture, sports, immigration and ethnicised and racialised minorities.


iMohamed Sghir Janjar (Morocco)
Doctor of Anthropology

Mohamed Sghir Janjar is deputy director of the King AbdulAziz Al Saoud Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Science. As an anthropologist, his research examines socio-cultural phenomenons and issues of education, scientific research, intellectual production and the circulation of knowledge in the Maghreb. He has been director of publication for reviews such as Études Maghr ébines, Prologues and Al-Madrassa al-Maghribiya, and the “Traductions” collection at Éditions de la Fondation. He has published many works, notably including: M émoire du Maroc ; Le Maroc au XX e si ècle ; Essai sur la formation de la mystique musulmane ; Du Maghreb et d’ailleurs ; La place des livres dans une soci é t é à faible litt ératie ; La transmission du religieux au Maghreb. He has participated in various national and international bodies such as the scientific council of the “Dialogue m éditerran éen sur le religieux” seminar at the Coll ège des Bernardins – Paris, or the Higher Education Council on scientific research and training.


iRobert Wisdom (USA)

Character actor Robert Wisdom played imposing men of authority on both sides of the law in such celebrated television series as «The Wire» (HBO, 2003-08), «Prison Break» (Fox, 2005-09, 2017), «Supernatural» (The WB/CW, 2005-) and «The Alienist» (TNT, 2018-). Born Robert Ray Wisdom to Jamaican parents in Washington, D.C., on September 14, 1953, he developed an interest in acting as a senior at Columbia University, but earned a degree in economics and history in 1976 and worked in banking before shifting careers to serve as a producer with National Public Radio. In the 1980s, Wisdom worked as artistic director for an array of cultural projects before eventually settling into his role as Director of Performing Arts at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London. He moved solely into acting in the early 1990s, and made his screen debut in an episode of the long-running police drama London. He moved solely into acting in the early 1990s, and made his screen debut in an episode of the long-running police drama «The Bill» (ITV 1984-2010).


iAli Benmakhlouf (France/Morocco)
Professor at Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique and Director of the Center for African Studies

Ali Benmakhlouf is a professor of philosophy. He is currently a member of the faculty of Universit é Mohammed VI Polytechnique (UM6P), director of the Center for African Studies (UM6P), professor emeritus of Universit é de Paris Est Val de Marne, honorary member of the Institut Universitaire de France and full member of the Acad émie Nationale de Pharmacie. His research explores medical ethics, the philosophy of logic and classical Arab philosophy. He also actively engages in debate on bioethics, after having been a member and later vice-president of the Comit é Consultatif National d’Éthique en France (CCNE, 2008-2016) and the Comit é Consultatif de D éontologie et d’Éthique (CCDE) of the Institut de Recherches pour le D éveloppement (IRD), over which he presided from 2009 to 2013. Ali Benmakhlouf is a member of the Société Française de Philosophie, the Institut International de Philosophie, and the Soci é t é d’Histoire de la Pharmacie. His most recent work, L’humanité des autres, was published by Albin Michel in 2023.


iRaja Ben Slama (Tunisia)
Professor of Arab civilisation and psychoanalyst

Raja Ben Slama is a Tunisian professor (Universit é de la Manouba) and psychoanalyst. She is the author of several works that examine myths and silence in Arab-Islamic tradition, as well as the paradoxes of modern-day mutations. She was editor-in-chief of the electronic critical thinking review Alawan from2007 to 2020, and from 2015 to 2023 she was executive director of the Biblioth èque Nationale de Tunisie, where she led digitalisation and free access to much of the written heritage of Tunisia. Raja Ben Slama is committed to defending human rights and democratic values. In this vein, she contributed to founding the Manifeste des Libert és (France) and the Association Culturelle Tunisian Cultural Association for the Defence of Secularism. She is a founding member of the editorial board of Transeurop éennes (published in France) as well as the IBLA (Institut des Belles Lettres Arabes) review in Tunis.


iNadia Bouras (Netherlands/Morocco)
Historian – author, professor and Moroccan migration and integration in the Netherlands expert

Dr. Nadia Bouras is a historian, author of four books, and Moroccan migration history expert. She earned her PhD in history at the University of Leiden, where she is a professor of social and migration history. In 2012 she published her Ph.D.-thesis, Het Land van Herkomst, Perspectieven op verbondenheid met Marokko, 1960-2010, (The Country of Origin, Perspectives on Alliance with Morocco, 1960-2010). She is one of four Moroccan Dutch members of the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad. Her research primarily explores the history of Morocco and the history of Moroccan migrations. In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the treaty allowing mass-recruitment of Moroccans for Dutch industries, Bouras (together with Annemarie Cottaar and Fatiha Laouikili) has written a book entitled «Marokkanen in Nederland: de pioniers vertellen» (Moroccans in The Netherlands: the pioneers tell, ed. Meulenhof 2009). The book deals with the history of arrival, settlement and integration of Moroccans in Dutch society. Nadia Bouras is also affiliated with NIMAR, the Netherlands Institute in Morocco, in Rabat.


iYasmine Chami (Morocco)
Historian, anthropologist and novelist

Born in Casablanca, Yasmine Chami studied at the Lycée Louis le Grand in Paris, then studied philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure Ulm. She also holds a degree in social sciences. She then turned to anthropology, working on the bloodlines of migrant women, tracing genealogies and histories from France to Morocco. When her sons were born in 2001 in New York, she decided to return to live in Morocco, where she directed the Villa des Arts in Casablanca before founding and directing for ten years an audio-visual production company creating social programming content for Moroccan television. She explores themes that include questions relating to the patriarchy, education, the position of women, money, sexuality, and religious transmission, always questioning the relationship between norms and realities. Since 2011, she has concentrated upon teaching. Her novels have all been published by Actes Sud.


iIlham Kadri (Belgium/Morocco)
CEO at Solvay

Ilham Kadri is the CEO at Solvay, a citizen of the world, scientist, businesswoman and humanist. Her international career has covered more than three decades across four continents. Under her direction at Solvay, and before that at Diversey (USA), she has driven transformations that have made the companies more sustainable and profitable. Her road map plans Solvay One Planet and Solvay One Dignity will lead to carbon neutrality by 2050, the reduction of work inequality, and establishing the imperatives of diversity, equity and inclusion. Ms. Kadri has received the French Legion of Honour as well as a Golden Award for Woman of the Year in 2019. She holds an honorary doctorate from Université de Namur (Belgium) and EWHA University (South Korea). Ms. Kadri is a member of the boards of L’Oréal and AO Smith, and presides over the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Ilham Kadri holds a degree in chemical engineering and a doctorate in physics and chemistry from Université de Strasbourg.


iYacouba Konaté (Ivory Coast)
Professor and author, Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny

A former student of Université de Paris 1, Panthéon Sorbonne, where he presented his two theses, Yacouba Konaté is a full professor of philosophy at Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan. His state thesis is entitled Identités et non-identités africaines (African Identities and Non-Identities). He is a member of the Conseil Scientifique de l’Académie des Sciences, de la Culture et des Arts d’Afrique et des Diasporas, director of the Rotonde des Arts Contemporains in Abidjan, and honorary president of the Association Internationale des Critiques d’Arts (AICA) in Paris, which he directed from 2008 to 2011. Yacouba Konaté was a Fulbright professor at Stanford University in California, and visiting professor at Université Laval in Quebec, at Sciences Po (CERI), École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He was the first executive director of the Marché des Arts du Spectacle in Abidjan, and is the author of several books and articles on African culture and politics. His most recent work, Voilà pourquoi… Contes de Bamôrô Traoré de Kong, was published by Éditions Eburnie in 2019.


iFadila Mehal (France/Algeria)
Founding president of Marianne de la diversité, vice-president of the Robert Schuman Institute, elected representative of Paris

Fadila Mehal was the first regional director of an immigrant background at the Fonds d’Action et de Soutien pour l’Intégration et la Lutte contre les Discriminations. She was successively regional director Nord-Pas de Calais, Languedoc-Roussillon and finally national director of culture and media. As a ministerial consultant to Jean-Louis Borloo at the Ministry of Social Cohesion, she participated in the origin of the creation of the Images of Diversity Commission (CNC-ACSE), with the intention of making “screens less pale”, and became the commission’s secretary for 10 years. After the suburban riots in 2005, she founded and presided over the Marianne de la Diversit é Association. Twice a member of the Economic and Social Council in the Social Affairs Section, she was elected councillor of Paris (18th arrondissement) from 2014 to 2020. She thus presided over the prestigious Committee on Culture, Heritage and Memory of the Paris Council for four years. Ms. Mehal is Chevali ère de la Légion d’Honneur and Chevali ère dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2015, Éditions de l’Atelier published her work entitled Marianne(s), which paints the picture of a century of women’s history and diversity in the French Republic.


iHassan Rachik (Morocco)
Anthropologist, Professor at Université Polytechnique Mohammed VI, Rabat

Hassan Rachik is an anthropologist and professor at Université Polytechnique Mohamed VI in Rabat, at Université Hassan II in Casablanca (1982-2021), and a visiting professor at universities in America, Europe, and the Arab world. His earliest field research focused upon the interpretation of sacrifice rituals (1990, 1992) and an explanation of social mutations in rural areas (2000, 2019). He studies the use of nationalist, Amazigh and Islamist ideologies, processes of ideologisation of religion and secularisation (2003, 2006, 2016). Taking inspiration from sociology of knowledge, he has studied colonial and post-colonial anthropological knowledge (2012, 2021). He is the author of multiple works, including Sacré et sacrifice dans le Haut Atlas (1990) ; Le sultan des autres (1992); Comment rester nomade (2000); Symboliser la nation (2003); Le proche et le lointain : Un siècle d’anthropologie au Morocco (2012); L’esprit du terrain (2016); Éloge des identités molles (2016); Socio-anthropologie rurale (2019); Devenir anthropologue chez soi (2022); Le Maroc rural, Dictionnaire socio-anthropologique (2023).


iMohamed Tozy (Morocco)
Professor at Sciences Po

After forty years of teaching and research at the Université Hassan II in Casablanca, Mohamed Tozy is now professor at French universities. He is currently deputy research director at Science-Po Aix, and is also co-director of the Mediterranean Centre of Sociology, Political Science and History (MESOPOLHIS) UMR 7064 - CNRS-AMU. He is the author of several books and dozens of articles published in national and international scientific reviews. His most widely-read works include: Monarchie et Islam politique, Presses de la fondation de sciences politiques, Paris (2007); l’Islam au quotidien, Casablanca éd. Prologues with M.El Ayadi and H.Rachik; (2015) L’État d’injustice au Maghreb, Karthala, with B.Hibou, I.Bono and H.Meddeb. Mohamed Tozy is secretary-general of the Targa Association for Development, and was a member of the Special Commission for the new development model. His most recent work, with Béatrice Hibou, was published in late 2020: Tisser le temps politique au Maroc, imaginaire de l’Etat à l’âge n éolib éral, Karthala, 660 pages.


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