Patterns of Modernity in Morocco: Facing East

The telecommunication satellietes in Fes, Morocco face east just like the country’s faithful during their daily prayers. It goes without saying, though, that in their steadfast focus on the east, both groups turn their backs on the west. Originating in Iran some sixty years ago, “westoxification” has become a popular ideology in certain communities within the post- and neo-colonial world. This ideology contends that the “west” – a blanket term denoting western social, cultural, economic, and political practices – corrupts and poisons the identity of the “rest.” Westoxification has now become a footnote to the larger story of globalization. The telecommunications satellites, however, can be seen as an ironic and dismal metaphor of the “rest” in the story’s current chapter; no matter how resolutely the satellites turn their backs on the west, they have been designed to be instruments of modernity and cannot ever completely fail to support it.

Looking North at the Chouwara Tannery in Fes, Morocco

Looking North from the Chouwara Tannery in Fes, Morocco

-APOML

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