Talking Back: Screening and Discussing Sexuality in Morocco

By Jess Newman
Submitted to Session P4904 (From the Bedroom to the Street: Projecting Gender and Sexuality in Public Places, 2017 Annual Meeting
Gender/Women's Studies;
LCD Projector without Audio;
This paper explores the tensions that surround public discussions of sexuality in Morocco through ethnographic analysis of film screenings and theater productions in Casablanca, Morocco. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, the paper considers how the location and audience profiles at different events influence the reception of different productions. Specifically, this paper addresses a screening of the documentaries Bastards (dir. Deborah Perkin 2014) and Breaking the Silence Around Street Harassment: Moroccans Speak Out! (Global Girl Media 2013) and a production of Naïma Zitan’s (2012) Dialy.

The paper interrogates how audience members negotiated different understandings of gender and sexuality through their participation in question and answer sessions or discussions. By paying close attention to the language and behavior of audience members and the content of the productions themselves, this paper explores how different events attempted to foster spaces for frank discussions about single motherhood, street harassment, and sexuality.