Abdellah TaiaAbdellah Taïa, an openly gay Moroccan writer comes to Madison for the week of November 18-22 to share his life story and his literature with students, faculty, staff and the UW-Madison community thanks to the support of the Department of French & Italian, the Lectures Committee, the European Studies Alliance, the Center for Interdisciplinary French Studies, and the African Studies Program.

The week will culminate with a public lecture.

R/Evolutions: Queer Changes in the Arab World
Friday, November 22, 2013
5:00 PM-7:00 PM
L 140 Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
Chazen Art Museum
800 University Ave.

The lecture will be presented in English and will be followed by The Grave of Jean Genet, a short documentary film written and directed by Taïa (12 min). Synopsis: One day, the French writer Jean Genet will become a saint in Morocco. In June 2008, Taïa went to the Moroccan city of Larache in search of his grave…

Taïa grew up in a large family just outside of Rabat in Salé, Morocco. Much of his writings are autobiographical in nature and center on his social experiences as a gay Moroccan who eventually came to live in Paris in self-prescribed exile.

His first feature-length film, “L’armée du salut,” based on his novel of the same name, was just awarded a Special Mention by the 2013 Geneva International Film Festival for its brave and intelligent evocation of contemporary Moroccan life and the journey of the protagonist in the film.