Souffles (magazine)

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Souffles Magazine
Souffles Magazine.jpg
Editor Abdellatif Laâbi
Categories Socio-political literary magazine
Frequency Quarterly
First issue 1966
Final issue 1972
Company Private
Country Morocco
Based in Rabat
Language English, Arabic

Souffles was an French language and Arabic language quarterly socio-political literary magazine published in Rabat, Morocco, between 1966 and 1972.

History and profile[edit]

Souffles was established in 1966 by a small group of self-professed 'linguistic guerrillas' as "a manifesto for a new aesthetics in the Maghreb". [1] The magazine became a conduit for a new generation of writers, artists, and intellectuals to stage a revolution against imperialist and colonial cultural domination.[1][2] The starting point for this revolution was language. It was based in Rabat.[3]

From its first issue, Souffles posed an aggressive challenge to the traditional Francophone and Arabophone literary divides by encouraging experimentation, translations and collaborations.[1] It was not long before its trademark cover emblazoned with an intense black sun radiated throughout Africa, the Arab world, West Indies and the Black Atlantic.[1] In the early 1970s the magazine changed focus. Motivated by the crushing Arab defeat in the Six-Day War and the Paris uprisings, its founder, editor and publisher Abdellatif Laabi declared that "Literature was no longer sufficient". After the fifteenth issue, dedicated to Palestine, Souffles underwent a major redesign, emerging as a new firebrand organ of leftist revolutionary group, Ila al-Amam. This new political agenda caught the attention of the authorities and in 1972 the magazine was banned after publishing nearly 22 issues and Laabi arrested.[3] While in prison he was awarded several international poetry prizes. After a long solidarity campaign, he regained his freedom in 1980.[4]