POSTCOLONIAL INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE IN NORTH AFRICA: INVESTIGATIONS AND INSIGHTS INTO THE CITY OF CASABLANCA, MOROCCO
Free (open access)
275 - 284
CHAIMA SEDDIKI, JEREMY CENCI, ISABELLE DE SMET
Casablanca, which was the laboratory for Neo-Classical, Neo-Moorish, Art-Deco and Bauhaus architecture, is plundering its past and disposing of its colonial industrial heritage. The lack of inventories, tools and expert structures to evaluate this heritage works in favor of the real estate speculation that is taking over strategic post-industrial territories in a generally carefree manner. The notion of “industrial heritage” in Moroccan culture is not very well known, and the status of the heritage of “the other” is rather complex. But through our inductive methodology and the practice of a Down-Up process within the territory of action, a sizeable dimension has emerged from the field, and has been used as a measure. This is the human and social dimension of the postcolonial industrial heritage. The approach of the citizens, with their observations and verbalizations being placed at the heart of the industrial heritage, reveals, for the first time, the identity, historical, memory and cognitive values of the postcolonial industrial heritage. A significant change is taking place. The values attributed to this industrial heritage by the citizens neutralizes the colonial fact, legitimizes the work of the colonists and even raises it to the rank of heritage. Reconciliation has been made and the status of the heritage of the ‘other' clarified. Today, the human and social dimension constitutes a real turning point in the field of heritage in Morocco. The post-colonial industrial heritage is recognized by one of the main actors of heritage, by the citizens. This article is based on research carried out over the past five years combining Qualitative Methodology and Grounded Theory on the industrial zones of East Casablanca and Mohammedia, the cradle of Moroccan industry.
heritage, Morocco, Casablanca, industrial wasteland