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Dissenting poses

Marginal youth, viral aesthetics, and affective politics in neoliberal Morocco

Cristiana Strava

In the spring of 2014, an unprecedented wave of police raids swept over every lower-class (sha‘abi) neighborhood across Morocco. Dubbed “Operation Tcharmil,” the raids targeted young, lower-class men that matched viral online images in which track-suit-wearing teens boastfully displayed status objects and white weapons. Drawing on the theoretical apparatus of the “affective turn,” in this article I unpack the structural and historical factors that shaped both popular reactions and policing actions toward the sudden, online visibility of a politically and economically disenfranchised group. I situate this episode within current debates about the entanglement of neoliberal disciplinary regimes and the reproduction of particular social orders, and argue that attention to such outbursts can help us revitalize and rethink existing notions of class.