Against the Homeland: Popular Exilic Antagonism through “Azzouz is Mad”
Against the Homeland: Popular exilic antagonism through “Azzouz is Mad”


Popular Culture Patria
Cultura Popular Pátria, Exílio, Diáspora, Identidade, Cultura Popular.

How to Cite

Benharrousse, R. (2020). Against the Homeland: Popular Exilic Antagonism through “Azzouz is Mad”. Runas. Journal of Education and Culture, 1(1), 57-65.


The Moroccan Diasporic Youtubers are silenced or neglected because they use vulgar language, and although they are becoming part of the Moroccan popular culture, researchers seem to overlook their socio-political views on Morocco. Thus, the article would investigate how Richard Azzouz, the most famous Moroccan Diasporic Youtuber, views Morocco and its citizens. Azzouz views Morocco as a place of slavery and oppression because Morocco is a kingdom with its own Monarchy. Azzouz represents Stephane Dufoix’s “Antagonistic Mode” since he is against the nation-state and resents the 'Arab' culture it promotes. He tries to value the Amazigh identity over the Arab one by valuing the American identity. Yet, his attempt to value Amazigh identity becomes a devaluation of his own identity because his ‘Americanness’ is better than all other identities.

The use of the video “Azzouz is Mad” through careful reading uncovers his claims of ‘superiority’ and ‘freedom’ since he associates himself with the United States. The contextual approach moves outside the text to trace how Azzouz and the Moroccan youth perceive Morocco as a prison. Then, the paper argues that the vision of Morocco as a place of slavery is shared by the Moroccan diasporas and Moroccan youth. Azzouz, similar to other diasporic YouTubers, associates himself with the host land for legitimacy, yet Azzouz falls in a paradox: the position that grants him legitimacy negates his views of valorization. Thus, the paper gives voice to the socio-political views of Azzouz and, through him, all the Moroccan Antagonist exiles; while, also, it traces the slippages in his discourse.


Acharoui, Z., Alaoui, A., Ettaki, B., Zerouaoui, J., & Dakkon, D. (2020). Identifying Political Influencers on YouTube during the 2016 Moroccan General Election. International Workshop on Statistical Methods and Artificial Intelligence, 170, 1102-1109.

Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.

Bennani-Chraibi, M. (2000). Youth in Morocco: an Indicator of a Changing Society. In, R. Maijer (Ed.), Alienation or Integration of Arab Youth: Between Family, State, and Street (pp. 143-160). London: Psychology Press.

Brubaker, R. (2005). The 'Diaspora' Diaspora. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28, 1, 1-19.

Cohen, R. (2008). Global Diasporas: An Introduction. London: Routledge.

Dufoix, S. (2003). Diasporas. William Rodarmor (Trans). London: University of California Press.

Eagleton, T. (2008). Literary Theory: An Introduction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Giles, D. C. (2018). The Popularity and Appeal of YouTubers: ‘Authenticity’ and ‘Ordinariness’. In, D. C. Giles (Ed.), Twenty-First Century Celebrity: Fame In Digital Culture (pp. 131-153). London: Emerald Publishing.

Ibahrine, M. (2013). Social Media and Soft Political Change in Morocco. In, M. M. Hussain and P. N. Howard (Eds.), State Power 2.0: Authoritarian Entrenchment and Political Engagement Worldwide (pp. 113-24). London: Routledge.

Kettioui, A. (2020). Sarcasm and Taboo in the Moroccan Mediascape After the February 20 Movement. Journal of African Cultural Studies.

Landorf, B. (2014). Female Reverberations Online: An Analysis of Tunisian, Egyptian, and Moroccan Female Cyberactivism During the Arab Spring Revolutions. (Honors Thesis). Retrieved from International Studies Honors Project. (20).

Lawrence, A. K. (2016). Represion and Acrtivism Among the Arab Spring's First Movers: Evidence from Morocco's February 20th Movement. B.J.PoL.S. 47, 699-718.

Leurs, K, Haan, D, M, & Leander, K. (2017). Affective Belongings Across Geographies: Locating YouTube Viewing Practices of Moroccan-Dutch Youth. In Halegoua, G, R, & Aslinger, B. (Eds).Toward a Global/ Local Perspective In Emerging Media (pp. 207-226). London: Routledge.

Morocco World News (2013). King Mohammed VI meeting with President Barrack Obama. Morocco World News. Retrieved from

Penrose, J. (2002). Nations, State and Homelands: Territory and Territoriality in Nationalist Though. Nation and Nationalism 8(3), 277-297.

Richard Azzouz. (2013). A voice opposing the Moroccan regime demonstrating in front of the White House (Translatation of Arab). Retrieved from

Richard Azzouz. [MRM]. (2018). AZZOUZ IS MAD Original version. Retrieved from

Sabry, T. (2004). Emigration as Popular Culture: The Case of Morocco. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 8(1), 5-26.

Sadrati, Anass. (2017). The Use of YouTube In Morocco as an instrument of Social Critique and Opposition: Three Cases: Richard Azzouz, Hamid El Mahdaouy, Najib El Mokhtari. (MA Thesis). Retrieved from Stockholms Universitet. (15).

Shifman, L. (2014). Memes: in Digital Culture. London: MIT Press.

William, S. (1991). Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 1(1), 83-99.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2020 Rachid Benharrousse


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...