Today met with Marouane Aouinat the painter after he invited me to his home in an old part of the souk. Marouane graduated a year ago from university of Tetouan.

He showed me his journal and some of the projects he had been doing over the last 12 months. He has had 10 projects in one year. His English is limited as is my Moroccan Arabic (also called Darija) the Moroccan language but we communicated as best as we could. He showed me his 38 certificates of art education at his age of 28 and I noted the difference having 2 certificates for HND in Graphic design and later in life my fine art degree. We spread all his out on the table like a fan and I thought it would be good to show them with mine in the future.

It will be difficult for Marouane to visit UK due to visa and passport issues and it is something I will have to look into if I hope to organise cross artist exchanges with my member group Neo:artists and as a studio holder at Neo:artists I have the opportunity to invite Moroccan artists for residencies and exhibit work in our Bolton gallery. This would expand my curatorial experience organising a group show to include these Moroccan artists and also a possibility for an exchange collaboration with Le Cube based in Rabat.

I had a lovely meal with the family who had been fasting all day and even though they could not speak English they were wonderful and welcoming. I said my goodbyes and they said I was part of the family now.


In the morning I tried to find the English book shop but it was hard to locate it. I headed for Zoom Pizza for a much needed coffee. There was Pauline who originally told me about it and she kindly took me there where I met the proprietor Mohammed a lovely chap who spoke good English and loved books. I asked him for any art books and he looked despondent saying he only had a few. This meant about 10! and so I purchased 6 of the books and he looked sad at letting them go so I only took 2 for now and bought another 2 the following week. It is an amazing shop rammed full of books and a must visit for inspiration and a nice chat.

After that Pauline invited me to Hotel Golden Tulip Farah for a drink and mentioned nice views so it seemed a good idea now I had a book to read. ‘Silent Poetry’, Deafness, Sign, And Visual Culture in Modern France by Nicholas Mirzoeff was the book I picked up because it was about art and a loss of one of the senses – that of the ear. I thought there might be something useful in it regarding my work with the blind singer Toufik.

Hotel is at Makhlouf 10, Rabat 10000, Morocco.

Later that evening I met up Rachid once again to draw up a plan of action for organising people during Ramadan as their routine is different than usual.


As Le Cube was temporarily closed I headed to the one place for food – Pizza Zoom and had a lovely conversation with Pauline who works at the British Council in Rabat. I made a good contact and told her about my project and reason for my visit and she told me about an English Book Shop which sounded great and we said we would keep touch.

I headed for my meeting with painter Marouane Aouinat who kindly took me to my new accommodation at Lebanon Avenue, Ocean district based centrally in Rabat and not far from the coast and the medina area, plus only 10 minutes from GML Pictures studios.


I visited Rabat last February to make a video, however Rabat is very different from Marrakech and not particularly tourist driven; more like Manchester in the sun.

My original concept was based on perceived vulnerably, peoples interactions and the gaze based on negotiating ones way through a highly charged intensely busy souk, rich in bartering and hassle. The concept altered to accommodate the fact that Rabat is not tourist driven and at this point I decided to not feature myself in the work after a discussion with an artist friend Hatim Gueddari.

Hatim Gueddari an artist and interpreter for my project who has known Tofic since Theatre school introduced singer and performer Toufik Elbouchit to me. I met with Toufik to propose my ideas for the video and record his unseeing travel through the souk wearing a Go-pro camera on his forehead whilst holding a pointer – a golden triangular mirror.

The main aim of the travel bursary was to create accompanying sound for my incomplete video. I was inspired by the song ‘Amazing Grace’ and it’s accompanying lyrics and this would be a starting point that could be somehow included through Toufik’s memory, music and vocals. The two lines I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see and ’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home, fitted in with my video footage.

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)

That sav’d a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears reliev’d;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,

His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be,

As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

And mortal life shall cease;

I shall possess, within the veil,

A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

The sun forbear to shine;

But God, who call’d me here below,

Will be forever mine.

Toufik has associations with blind societies and through his support my aim is to screen the video though these organisations, in particular the ‘International film festival’ held annually in Marrakech, whereby the blind are allocated their own venue space.

If I can source a contact for the film festival it will be fantastic.