Marrakech Comedy Festival to Fight Against Racism
During the Festival, Comedians Seized the Opportunity to Dispel Clichés About IslamJune 10th, 2016
Franco-Moroccan comedian Jamel Debbouze has been organising the ‘Marrakech du rire’ comedy festival every year since 2011, from June 2nd. This year, some comedians chose to use humor as a weapon to fight against fear of terrorism, community tensions, security worries and clichés about Islam and Arabic people. These subjects are topical issues in France, where most of the comedians performing are living. This is especially so following the terrorist attacks in Paris in November of 2015.
Foudil Kaibou, one of the comedians performing in Marrakech, stated that it is crucial that we discuss the attacks as both the artists and the audience need to free themselves from these events. Moreover, life is not easy for Arabic people in France currently. A multitude of negative stereotypes are circulating in society, the media and in the political sphere, stereotyping Arabs as thieves, bandits or even terrorists. The comedians poke fun at these stereotypes, but also send a political message reminding the audience that not all Arabs are terrorists.
Marking the end of the festival on June 5th, in front of 2000 spectators waving French, Moroccan and Algerian flags, the comedy duo shared the following words with the crowd: ‘we don’t have the same religion but we have the same passion: the stage.’ Comedians without an Arabic background, such as French comedians Franck Dubosc and Alban Ivanov, shared similar types of jokes and messages. Overall, there was one message to take away from the ‘Marrakech du Rire’ Comedy Festival: terror won’t stop humour and humour can be a strong weapon against both terrorisim and racism.
Cultural Diplomacy News
Pierre Even, CD News