Two separate poetry collections from Moroccan filmmaker and writer Bouanani, who documents postcolonial transition in personal, highly interior language. Scenes of historical trauma mingle mythology in the symbolist 'Photograms,' which feel somehow both ecstatic and fatigued. The title poem of 'The Shutters' is a vivid elegy to childhood, “a house as big as a dream you don’t wake up from.” Otherwise turn to page 47 and read 'To the Poet Prisoners'; a striking elegy, would it were less timely today.— Cam
The Shutters collects the two most important poetry collections--"The Shutters" and "Photograms"--by the legendary Moroccan writer Ahmed Bouanani. By intertwining myth and tradition with the familiar objects and smells of his lived present, Bouanani reconstructs vivid images of Morocco's past. He weaves together references to the Second World War, the Spanish and French protectorates, the Rif War, dead soldiers, prisoners, and poets screaming in their tombs with mouths full of dirt. His poetry, written in an imposed language with a "strange alphabet," bravely confronts the violence of his country's history--particularly during the period of les ann es de plomb, the years of lead--all of which bears the brutal imprint of colonization. As Bouanani writes, "These memories retrace the seasons of a country that was quickly forgetful of its past, indifferent to its present, constantly turning its back on the future.