Journal of Amazigh Studies
The Journal of Amazigh Studies (JAS) is a biannual interdisciplinary peer reviewed journal dedicated to scholarly research and artistic interventions which concern the past and present situation of the Amazigh peoples (or Imazighen), the Indigenous peoples of North Africa.
As Imazighen face multiple threats to their present and future communal survival (notably through the fast process of homogenization, neo-colonization, neo-liberalization, and cultural and historical denial), JAS also supports these communities and documents their struggles, as well as the preservation of their past, their languages, and their respective forms of Indigenous knowledge. To that end, exploring and analyzing Amazigh issues from a scholarly and theoretical standpoint is essential yet it requires expertise in many areas, and so JAS brings together writers and scholars from the humanities, social sciences, environmental science, as well as artists and practitioners from a range of fields. The languages of the journal are English, Tamazight, and French, which will ensure that the journal functions as an interlocutor in all territories where Imazighen live whether Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, the Canary Islands, or the diaspora. JAS publishes rigorous and groundbreaking works on Amazigh topics, ranging from literary and music criticism to investigations of health and environmental issues, as well as book and film reviews.
Aẓeṭṭa is a separate feature within JAS which is dedicated to literary and creative works, ad hoc interventions, interviews, and essays, which document and reflect upon the situation of Amazigh peoples, and especially women, of today and the past. Aẓeṭṭa takes its name from the activity of weaving, or azetta, in Amazigh communities, an activity which is symbolic and for JAS an intellectual weaving. Aẓeṭṭa is a polysemic word which refers to the traditional loom that women set up and use to weave clothes and other items such as blankets and carpets and the act of weaving as well as the end-product. The word aẓeṭṭa is associated with women and entails their creativity and imagination while at the same time reproducing known patterns, designs, and models which are recognized by the community. The setting up and dismantling of the loom is a collective activity which requires a related process and is also a ritual. The act of weaving is also carried out by several women and requires a space and time where women exchange, reflect, sing, or create songs and poems while creating their pieces of cloth. Weaving for an Amazigh is like a poem, where the threads woven together are like words forming a poem. Aẓeṭṭa, then, is meaningful beyond the practical and economic.
So, just like Aẓeṭṭa, the varia section of JAS not only reconnects different Amazigh peoples but also contributes to the exploration of collective and individual experiences of the present and the past, creating links and gateways between Imazighen. North Africa’s Indigenous history, languages, and cultures are fragmented, divided, and isolated, embodying the traumas its populations have endured over time. Aẓeṭṭa strives to repair, reclaim, and restore these indigenous voices and experiences and provides a space to reflect, create, share, and re-member.