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Prison, poetry, martyrdom

Prison, poetry, martyrdom

Saida Menebhi and the Moroccan Years of Lead. See Red Press 2021

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Saïda Menebhi died on 11th December 1977, 34 days into the third collective hunger strike initiated during the two years of her imprisonment in Casablanca civil prison, Morocco. She was 25 years old. Part of a generation born on the cusp of Morocco’s independence from France, Saïda came of age politically in the energetic Marxist student movement of the late 60s and early 70s. This period was one of openings, but also one of closings, and the Years of Lead (les années de plomb) would see thousands of political dissidents rounded up and locked up en masse, made subject to long prison sentences, torture, and often murder.

 

Here we present a selection of the poems she wrote from her prison cell, translated into English for the first time, along with an essay on Prison, Poetry and Martyrdom more generally.

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