Mohand Abttoy: painting as a work of testimony.


“Daar komen de helmen” (the helmets arrive) is the title of Mohand Abttoy’s new book dedicated to the Moroccan monarchy’s police and judicial repression of the protest movement in the Rif. In this book just released in the Netherlands, there are sixty paintings and caricatures. These works, in the form of chronicles, tell the story of the uprising since its beginnings in October 2016.

The book, prefaced by Aksil Azergui, retraces the repression suffered by the inhabitants of Biya (El-Houceima) and all the Rif, the zeal of the military and members of the police forces intervening in this region to subdue the protesters . These forces are described in the book as occupants proceeding with utter impunity to beatings, mass arrests, robberies and all forms of repression.

Abttoy also evokes the tumultuous history of the Rif since 1958-1959. A story made of very tense relations with the monarchy. It has resorted to a terrible repression to subdue this region and empty it with all its active forces.







The artist also devotes several paintings to the Moroccan courts and the judicial repression that hit the arrested protesters. The judges are “remote controlled” and only follow the orders of the palace. Their mission is not to do justice, but to punish severely, with zeal. They have nothing to envy to the forces of suppression on the field. They form a single body. The one who incarnates repression, injustice and contempt.

A series of paintings describes the ravage of the country by the Moroccan monarchy. Wealth is exploited by an elite, leaving the rest of the population in dire poverty, famine and underdevelopment.

The book of Abttoy is a cry against political repression, a denunciation of what is happening not only in the Rif, but in all that part of Tamazgha where the Alawite monarchy has “maintained the people in silence” and pushed thousands others to try to reach the other side of the Mediterranean aboard “coffins”.


In this book presented on October 20 in Rotterdam, Mohand denounces the cowardice of political parties that only follow the “royal directives” and who turned their backs on the “people” and took part in the ravage of the country.

A. Azergui

Translated from


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