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photo Soukaina Habiballah (c) Hind Alilich.jpg

11 June 2022 - Morocco

Casablanca / Institut Français

16 to 19 July 2022 - France

Festival d'Avignon

21-22 March 2023 - France

Blois / Halle aux Grains sn

24-26-27-28 March 2023 - France

Saint-Nazaire / Athénor

30 March 2023 - France

Choisy-le-Roy / Théâtre

4 April 2023 - France

Amiens / Centre Jacques Tati

5-8 April 2023 - France

Vandoeuvre / CCAM sn

12 May 2023 - France

Orléans / scène nationale

16 May 2023 - Switzerland

La Chaux-de-Fonds / TPR

24 May 2023 - France

Nantes - Maison de la Poésie, Grand T

2, 4 & 5 November 2023 - Egypt

Cairà / Festival D-CAF
22 November to 9 Decembr 2023 - Morocco

Rabat, Casablanca, El Jedida, Marrakech, Tanger, Meknès, Fès

11 March 2024 / Scotland

Festival StAnza / St Andrews


Nini ya Momo


bilingual performance (Arabic / English) by Soukaina Habiballah
the entire cycle of poems is performed by the poetess in both languages


sound: Zouheir Atbane from a collection of collected Moroccan lullabies in the many languages of Morocco
stage direction : Henri jules Julien

In Nini ya Momo, Soukaina Habiballah interweaves the voices of a grandmother and her grown-up granddaughter, who speak to each other through the mother's absence. The granddaughter has recently given birth to a child, and is eager to break free from the circle of female subjection by questioning her grandmother: why is she so determined to keep her in the oppression she herself has suffered?

Habiballah's feminism is not modelled on and could be described as decolonized. The poetess draws attention to the unyielding need for women to extricate themselves from transgenerational trauma: "it's now my turn" concludes the poem gravely.

On stage, she interweaves the Arabic and French versions of the poem and becomes her own translator, as if the two voices were alternating in her own body, her own poet's psyche. As if the two women in the poems lived inside her, in the exceptional gentleness and striking presence of her voice.

The narrative poem is bathed in the atmosphere of a cruel, even violent fairy tale. The performance benefits from a soundscape created by Zouheir Atbane from Moroccan lullabies collected from very old women in the many languages of Morocco.


Like all girls in tales, a girl is born with a grain of wheat

        in her mouth.
The mother puts it in her daughter's mouth

and sends her on a pursuit of love and children.
With this grain of wheat
the girl can be able to return to her mother
no matter how far apart the valleys, mountains,

and poor phone network kept them.

It is a grain passed from a mother to her daughter.

So if you are alone, lost
it’s because my mother did not put a grain of wheat in

       my mouth,
not her breast when I was born,
not even her finger…
rather, the bullet that passed my father's head
they returned it to her with his body.
I was sucking on it
until I fell asleep.


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