Photo Credit: Meriem Bennani
February 27, 2020
Three stories you need to read today. Compiled and broken down for you by Reporting Morocco student journalists — every day. Brought to you from the School for International Training’s journalism program, Rabat.
Lede: The Moroccan authorities prevented on Tuesday a Spanish national from entering the city of Laayoune.
Key Background: The lawyer was prevented from leaving the plane after she landed in Laayoune via a flight from Casablanca. She was planning to attend the trial of a Sahrawi who is accused of offending a police officer and setting a car on fire.
Last year, Morocco expelled 43 people from the Sahara, including journalists, lawyers and elected officials.
Why this is newsworthy: This trend of isolation has been noticed by international organizations like the United Nations, and raises questions about the human rights situation in Western Sahara.
Source: Morocco World News
Lede: The southern Moroccan city of Laayoune will host the third annual Morocco-Pacific Island States Forum from February 26 to 28.
Key Background: The decision to make Laayoune the host destination for the forum comes after the city witnessed a milestone in diplomatic achievement. Several African countries opened general consulates in Laayoune and Dakhla, reflecting their principled and steadfast support for Morocco’s position on the Western Sahara conflict.
Why this is newsworthy: This is yet another example of Morocco capitalizing on international recognition of its stance on Western Sahara.
Source: Harper’s Bazaar
Lede: It would be easy to assume Meriem Bennani’s video works—real life peppered with an array of digitalisations including comical anthropomorphism where houses sing about their condition (Neighbourhood Goggles, 2019)—are charmingly silly.
Nut Graf: Often inspired by Morocco despite having spent the last decade in New York, she films family members, people she encounters, even individuals from YouTube or the street that she’d like to meet. However, though Bennani’s bottom line investigates charged socio-political scenarios, she is neither documentarian nor journalist. She is simply interested in emotions of others, and uses her own intuition to motivate, deconstruct, and create discourse with a side of digital play.
Why this is newsworthy: Bennani is an example of a young Moroccan artist living abroad who still claims inspiration from Morocco, during a time in which young people worry about the future of the country’s creative and intellectual base.