Home Institution

University of North Carolina

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Abstract

Street art is a form of mass communication and a platform for public discourse (Chaffee, 1993, p. 4). Public discourse in the Moroccan context is undergoing a process of limited liberalization, characterized by the hybrid regime’s allowance of a greater plurality of voices to legitimately participate in public discourse while still maintaining surveillance and control over who participates and how they participate (Desrues, 2013). Through qualitative research methods, this study analyzes how individual actors and the Moroccan hybrid regime use street art in the Rabat-Casablanca urban space to participate in public discourse and how street art is related to the process of political liberalization. Because street artists often do not offer their audience a fixed meaning of their art, instead requiring the audience to find their own meaning for the art, it was hypothesized that street art creates space in the public sphere for a greater plurality of narratives, thus leading to higher levels of political liberalization. The findings of this study upheld this hypothesis with the reservation that street art, like all forms of public discourse, is constrained by the redlines set by the hybrid-regime that determine what can and cannot be said in the public sphere.

Disciplines

African Studies | Fine Arts | Mass Communication | Political Science

 

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