Accepted Paper:

Experiences of the invisible in a Moroccan field (God, jnun, evil eye)  


Isabelle Jabiot (Université Nanterre Paris Ouest la Défense)

Paper short abstract:

In this communication, I will demonstrate how an ethnography of the invisible (god, jnun, evil eye) is possible from an investigation in a Moroccan field based on the methods of existential anthropology, anthropology of believe and ordinary religion.

Paper long abstract:

This communication is a methodological and theoretical reflexion on the ethnography of the invisible beings in a small mountain town in Morocco. The invisible is a daily experience, whether its comes from god, the jnun or the evil eye, three kinds of invisible beings, which are of different natures and who are bound to the Muslim religion. The methods of existential anthropology are relevant to seize and characterize this experience of the invisible (importance granted to details, to the individual in situation and to his shaping course of life, daily follow-up method). Likewise, the anthropology of the ordinary religion (Piette 2010, 2012 and Ferrié 2004) and the anthropology of believe (Veyne 1983, Piette 2014, Mair 2013, Candea 2013), offer perspectives to rethink what is consider as extraordinary, and characterize the modalities and the "program of truth" who are specific according to contexts and individuals who experiment the invisible.

The contributions of these approaches are multiple. In one hand, they push back the boundaries of the ethnography of the invisible. In an other hand, the questions of the existence of the invisible beings and the experience that are made, are reformulated: how could the existence of the invisible become sometimes tangible and obvious? How these experiences, in which the materiality is blurred, could leave tracks, and what role do they play in the everyday life of the individuals who experience it? The ethnographical data that will serve as support for this communication provides some elements of the answers to these questions.

Panel P077
Ethnography of the invisible