Interview with Thifswin Association of the Amazigh Theatre

Thifswin Association

Agraw.Com: Azul brother Mohamed Ben Yousef from ‘Thefeswin’ association of the Amazigh theatre. First, tell us about Thefeswin?

Thfswin: Thanks brother Miloud for this question. Thefeswin used to be a group before becoming recently an association. We worked from 1998 until 2004 as a group, but we thought of creating an association under the name of Thefeswin so that we would work legally.

Agraw.Com: What kind of theatre you produce?

Thfswin: Our main concern is the Amazigh theatre. We play in Tamazight. We noticed that there were all kinds of theatre but the Amazigh one in the Rif, and particularly in Alhoceima, so we decided that Thefeswin would produce plays in Tamazight. We were the first association in the Rif that produced the Amazigh theatre, that’s why our main concern is the Amazigh theatre, and we hope that other associations would appear to help us carry this heavy burden. Other associations appeared in Alhoceima, they also produced theatre in Tamazight.

Agraw.Com: As we know, ‘Thefeswin produces child s theatre. Can you tell us about it?

Thfswin: Child s theatre has an important place in theatre in general, as children are the future, so it is very important for us to produce child s plays. If we don t produce child s theatre we can t afford another tomorrow for we may fail to continue in our theatre. Unless we leave who would continue the same work we started, our theatre would die. But child s theatre is somehow difficult. Our brother Assamar Mohamed helps children in training for plays. He also writes plays like “Idir Amakssa� which is very successful.

Agraw.Com: Who produces the plays you perform?

Thfswin: We have three ready plays which we wrote before, but our famous one is entitled “Sughir khak a zian� which treats the issue of immigration to Europe, all the members of Thefeswin contributed in writing this play. Other plays are written by me, Lehbib Lmadani, and Assamar Mohamed. Said Abernouss wrote “Idir Amekssa�, he is also going to write two other plays for us, one for children entitled “Tetila d washan� whish is a universal play, and the second play is entitled “Azag Azughagh� which talks about Resistance in the Rif.

Agraw.Com: Theatre is very important in art, is there any help from any part offered to you?

Thfswin: Theatre requires a lot of help and efforts, ad there are many people who help us. We also make our own efforts to supply our needs, for example in creating the décor, of course without forgetting the help of our brother Oulad Hadou Abd El hamid. There is also our brother Hussain Akalai who helps us in what concerns the accessories. On the musical side, Aziz Amerdas, Rachid Ismaeli, Achahbar Abd El Fatah and El Ouafi El Karimi, also members of Thefeswin association, offer us great help with their music. All these people contribute with their efforts to the success of our works.

Agraw.Com: Where do you find the people who perform in your plays? Do women also play with you?

Thfswin: Those who perform in our plays are also members of our association; the success of Thefeswin is due to them all. We also adopted other talented people to play with us. In what concerns your question, yes, we have women performing with us, but we had many troubles at the beginning, it was a bit difficult for us to find women to perform in our theatre to the extent that we used to have our brother Mounir El Hadoui ‘Zian playing the role of women. It is difficult for us to take women with us to other cities rather than Alhoceima. Lately we have been working on a play so that we would participate in Tetouan, we almost finished it but we had some troubles, we then had a Spanish woman playing with us. She really performed her role as expected.

Agraw.Com: Do you find places where to practice your plays?

Thfswin: This is the biggest problem in Alhoceima. It is difficult to find places where to play and prepare for our plays. It s no wonder then if you hear some day that Thefeswin plays in the outside on beaches and streets. In Alhoceima we have no places for such activities like theatre and this represents our main problem.

Agraw.Com: As we know, theatre requires a lot of work and efforts so that it be ready for people, do you get any help?

Thfswin: As you have mentioned, theatre requires a lot of hard work and efforts. Here in Alhoceima it requires even harder work as there are many problems that face it. And the Amazigh theatre in general faces many troubles and needs a lot of work. In fact there is some help from some responsible parts, but that s not enough at all.

Agraw.Com: Do you play outside Alhoceima?

Thfswin: As a start, we used to play outside Alhoceima then we started playing in Alhoceima. Playing outside is very important as it helps deliver our message to others. We participated in many festivals in Nador, Oujda, Tetouan, Taounat, and in many other places. Theatre is like a bird that should be free, it should be played everywhere not only in Alhoceima.

Agraw.Com: Are there any new works of Thefeswin?

Thfswin: We are thinking of organizing a festival this year but we still haven t decided yet if it really would take place this year. We are also thinking of organizing a tour around Morocco but this requires a lot of course. We are going to start working on our play “Azag Azughagh� and “Tetila d washan�. We are also going to participate in other cities like Nador and Agadir. There are other festivals we still do not know if we would participate in them or not.

Agraw.Com: Thank you so much Mohamed for this interview.

Thfswin: Thanks a lot brother Miloud and thanks also go to for all the efforts you make for the Amazigh music and art in general. And it is a good idea that people would know and read about Thefeswin through your website on the internet. Thanks a lot again and we wish you good luck.

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