The plastic eye: The politics of Jewish representation in Moroccan museums

Aomar Boum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This article explores the ways in which Jews are represented in two private Moroccan museums today. As forms of contestation that give visibility to Jews, these museums go beyond current anthropological understandings of museums as 'state-projects' of representation. I argue that this representational complexity and the Moroccan state's attitude toward the museums are best understood through the native Moroccan ethnometapragmatic concept 'the plastic eye/'ayn mika', which com- bines not only the faculty of vision (the eye/'ayn) but also the intentional act of ignoring what is exhibited (the plastic/mika), thus allowing Jewish history in Morocco to be simultaneously foregrounded and backgrounded as it is politically expedient.scopy; 2010 Routledge Journals, Taylor and Francis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-77
Number of pages29
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Jews
  • Morocco
  • Museum
  • Representation
  • State

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology


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