Beyond the Medina/Nouvelle Ville Colonial Manicheism: The Cultural Implications of Post-Independence Urbanisation "Policies" in Morocco

Lahcen Haddad (Mohamed V University, Rabat, Morocco)

This paper will show how post-independence urbanisation "policies" perpetuate the social function of the Medina/Nouvelle Ville (colonial) dichotomy while exploding it spatially. The result has been: (a) the development of what I call "concrete jungles" with neither soul nor cultural identity which reproduce the social function of the colonial Medina without the orientalizing (but no less utopian) museum function given to it by Lyautey's urban policy; (b) the development of suburban "posh" areas hermetically sealed to any social or cultural "miscegenation" and reflecting the philistinism and cultural "poverty" of a sycophantic and arriviste middle class. The latest attempts to promote futuristic entities like Riad in Rabat and Sala El Jadida in Salé aim to transcend this cul-de-sac but fail to disrupt the social stratification that urban development in post-independence Morocco has never been able to get rid of.

Postcolonial OV discourseov Casablanca Conference

Last modified: 7 May 2001