chapter  5
Lifewriting between Israel, the Diaspora and Morocco
Revisiting the Homeland through Locations and Objects of Identity
ByEmanuela Trevisan Semi
Pages 14

This chapter intends to analyse those locations and objects of identity that allow for a revisiting of the homeland by the Jews who have left Morocco. The increased production of lifewriting texts of the Moroccan Jewish diaspora thrusts the return of the homeland into the limelight. The contribution made by the autobiographical narratives of the Moroccan Jewish diaspora, especially by those people who belong to the so-called 1.5 generation – the generation that traumatically left the country of origin during childhood, as described by Susan Rubin Suleiman – is very meaningful. It widens our understanding of the history of those Jews who left Morocco as infants or children. In lifewriting, life as it has been lived replaces imaginary intrigue, whereas direct witness substitutes invention. The Moroccan Jewish quarter can be represented as a maternal breast, as warm and protective and as an autonomous, independent realm.