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The Postcolonial in Motion: Hijra ila ardi al-ahlam and the Construction of Postcolonial Counterdiscourse

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This paper examines the poetics and politics of representing cultural otherness in Sellam Chahidi's travel-inspired narrative Hijra ila ardi al-ahlam. Since Western cultural encounters have developed an overall epistemological outline in which Moroccan cultural identities are framed and often preconditioned to express western perspectives, Chahidi's narrative foregrounds new ways whereby the existing paradigm of interpretation and power relations are disturbed and subverted. Hijra ila ardi al-ahlam shows an inquisitive mode of cross-cultural negotiation in which various ideological and cross-cultural appropriations are dislocated to take on new twists. It is motivated by a strong desire to forge a new space capable of transcending the sociopolitical reality of the motherland but also capable of challenging the unilateral constructions of identity dictated by the ideologies of an Orientalist mindset.


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