Youssouf Amine Elalamy Bibliography Examples

Small Brothers are Watching You: Reflections on a Moroccan Digital Spring

I was not born digital. No, I was not born with a mouse in my hand, a keyboard at the tip of my f... more I was not born digital. No, I was not born with a mouse in my hand, a keyboard at the tip of my fingers, and a legion of screens around me. I belong to a generation for whom a mouse was still that grey little thing we catch with a piece of oiled bread attached to a trap. Occasionally, when my parents were kind enough to turn on the TV, the mouse would turn into a smart cartoon character endlessly chased by a dumb cat. Yet, as smart as it could be, it would not obey a simple click, nor would it open limitless possibilities as it does now. Yes, I do belong to that pre-digital age peopled only with a one-eyed dinosaur named television. Not a herd of technological tools but only one single black and white State-owned TV channel that would regularly cancel a popular show or the much-awaited football game to display the Leader's activities of the day, when not one of his endless speeches. In that age, had the remote control been invented, we would have still not been able to zap between channels. And no need to turn off the TV either, for that image on the screen will follow you wherever you go. Public spaces were filled with that inevitable visual feature of daily life and we were brought up to think that no city street would look complete without it. We all grew up with the idea that the Leader's portraits were as natural to a street as trees are to a forest, so who could possibly chop them down or even object to them blooming in every corner? The LPLF, or the Leader's Portraits Liberation Front, had not been created yet, and has not been created since either. We had lived inside this forest for so long that it didn't occur to any to change that seemingly natural order of things. A few years later, from the fanciest villas of Casablanca to the poorest neighbourhoods of the country, satellite dishes mushroomed above our roofs, bringing their loads of new images, along with alternative values and ideas. The One and Only suddenly turned into one single option among many others and, for the first time ever, we could switch to other heroes, born and raised elsewhere, miles away from our forest, and who looked ever more attractive and desirable. With this continuous and ceaseless flow of television images coming from all directions and organized in a sequential fashion, we also discovered how each new image could replace that alleged eternal one. The foreign satellite TV channels were the first cracks in the wall, allowing us, if not to touch it and feel it, at least to imagine the green grass that lay behind the wall. Soon the small cracks will be followed by the larger fault lines introduced by the Internet and that will ultimately shake, disrupt when not fully unsettle the traditional political establishment. A cyberspace was born that will deeply question the divide between the subject and the policymaker, as well as the foundations of a political system that did not tolerate alternative views nor competition. Whoever navigated in that space could post, chat, or tweet and activate the fault lines by sharing, when not taking the control Elalamy_Small_Brothers.indd 1 16/10/2014 16:28pm

BookmarkDownloadEdit

Views PaperRank

Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact

Youssouf Amine Elalamy (born 20 November 1961 in Larache) is a Moroccan writer. He received the prize of best travel account from the British Council International for his book Un Morocain à New York and the Grand Prix Atlas 2001 for his novelLes Clandestins. His novels have been translated into Arabic, English, Spanish, German, Greek, and Dutch. His collection of short stories, Gossip (2004), is the first book entirely written in Darija (Moroccan Arabic). He is also a professor in the English Department at Ibn-Tofail University






Youssouf Amine Elalamy Wikipedia

CC BY-SA

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *