The Mohammed VI Museum Of Modern and Contemporary Art is located in the centre of Rabat not far from the train station and near Terminus Hotel which showcases a sun terrace and great views of the city.

The Museum is a large sold building, having a brightness and lightness of colourful artwork images running along its sides. Outside the main door is a featured sculpture with smaller contemporary sculptures situated in floral areas front and back of the building.

The gallery opened in 2014 and  is worth 200 million dirhams being designed by architect Karim Chakor. This is the first museum institution dedicated entirely to modern and contemporary art. The Museum was designed to raise awareness and initiate the public to contemporary artistic creation, and promote participation in the country’s cultural life as well as openness on international creation. It offers trainings and conferences to well-informed audience, the likes of art graduates and art historians.

I enjoyed the Giacometti exhibition very much as I knew little about the artist and was pleased and impressed to see retrospective of a European artist, including one who I realised was influenced by African art.

Accompanied by Marouane Aouinat a Moroccan artist contact, I was introduced to Moulin the gallery technician who put together the show and a lady named Hind. Hind was on an internship over the summer and kindly explained that the exposition spans approximately forty years of the artist’s career.

It was helpful to see the artists journey and how he conceived and created the various works on display, especially seeing photographs that show his studio and the materials he used. I took many photographs which was a plus as most big galleries back home in the UK restrict camera use.

Another afternoon will be required with a visit to their nice looking cafe with outside shaded area for a well deserved break, as there was not enough time to see all the gallery. There is an upstairs floor dedicated to the history of Moroccan artists and in the basement a huge sculpture and installation room with current work. More time required!


Theres is place called Chellah where I wanted to visit and record sound after hearing positive comments about the place, so I arranged to meet Marouane Aouinat a Fine Artist who studied Art at Institut National des Beaux-Arts in Tétouan.

The History of Challah is it’s a medieval fortified Muslim necropolis located in the metro area of Rabat, on the South side of the Bou Regreg estuary. The Phoenicians established a trading emporium at the site and called it “Sala”.

Salā was the name given to the city founded by the Muslim conquerors of North Africa, which was mostly abandoned during the Almohad era, then rebuilt by the Marinids in the 13th century. The ruins of their medieval fortress are still extant. The Berber Almohads used the site as a royal burial ground. The Marinids made the site a holy necropolis, or Chellah, and built a complex that included mosque, minaret, and royal tombs. The tall minaret of the now-ruined mosque was built of stone and zellige tile-work, and still stands. Contrary to legend, the corsairs of Salé did not actually operate out of Salé, but out of the city that would later become known as Rabat.

It was quiet when we visited with not many tourists, so I was able to get some sound recording done with my new Tascam recorder. There are many storks nesting and the sound of them calling was unexpected and  interesting. It is a beautiful, calm environment with many cats being look after by a lady who feeds them at a wishing well pond. Myself and Marouane made a short video of him singing and drumming ontop of the water that flowed around the gardens, which I will edit in time and post onto Vimeo.


After seeing all the wonderful Murals throughout Rabat I met with artist Hatim Gueddari and we arranged a project very close to his heart. We organised a meeting with his art friends and Marouane Aouinat a Fine artist who I met via facebook.

Hatim has a small building (no roof) which eventually will become a home but it has been neglected over the years due to economic reasons. It is in a town called Gueddari in Sidi Kacem Province and according to the 2004 census it has a population of 6,011. It’s about 2 hours drive from Rabat and is rural.

The aim was to discuss and arrive at a concept for one side of this building and we all agreed on ‘The Universe’. The work was to be completed in half a day due to Hatim’s work commitments. A couple of days later on the Saturday I hired a car and bought some paint etc and we set off on our adventure. The artists involved were myself, Hatim Gueddari, Marouane Aouinat, Leila Imad and Rachid El Alaoui a philosophy teacher in Rabat.

At the time it was still Ramadan with no drinking or eating so it was an added challenge. The project was successful with a strong sense of achievement even though it still needs another days work in the future ‘INSHALLAH’. I hope to help complete this worth while painting in the future.

In-between breaks I took photographs and made some sound recording. We broke the fast in the evening about 7.30pm just after I watched and videoed the descending golden sun disappear behind the palm trees and another special memory made.


I think one of the best ways to see any place is by foot with my camera in hand and luckily for me Rabat is walkable city, similar to Manchester City centre. There are many painted large scale wall murals within Rabat commissioned and designed for the Jidar Festival. The first I saw is “The Shoe Thief” by Argentinian artist Franco Fasoli (aka Jaz) which is situated just round the corner of where I stayed on arrival. It is colourful and dynamic and certainly catches your eye set in the foreground of the bright blue Moroccan sky. The style is crisp, clear and graphic almost like collage with a strong sense of masculinity.

The next work is further out of the centre situated in a residential area on Jacob Mansoir Street. Created by ‘Deih’ a Spanish artist and entitled “Cosmic Balance”. It is a futuristic and vibrant piece.

Artist ‘INTI’ is a Chilean muralist depicts a character holding a tiny lamb in its hands. According to INTI its about a Bridge to the european dream and the land with a passage to a better future for sub-saharan immigrants, and a final destination for the vast majority.

This mandala piece is situated alongside the Souk area right in the centre of Rabat.

A work I did not get to see is by invited artist Saner from Mexico, known for his figurative works strongly influenced by Mexican tradition and culture. The work is a mixture of the artists native culture along with the local elements, using a bright colours and simple composition, he created a large portrait of a masked man serving tea while standing in the water. Symbolic elements unites the distant traditions of Mexico and Morocco, portraying unity and possibility for people of different cultures to get a long.

You can read and view his mural on

The work below is not far from the medina, however I don’t know the artist who painted it.

This work i did not see but sourced information from the internet is a collaboration between three Moroccan artists. Artists from around the world are transforming the streets of Morocco’s capital city painting frescoes to decorate the boulevards and residential areas.

Graffiti artists and mural painters from Morocco and abroad are slowly transforming massive blank canvases into works that will brighten the capital for years to come. It is arduous work for the artists, like Vincent Abade Hafez, better known by his tag ‘Zepha’. His urban calligraphy already decorates numerous cities around the globe.

“Painting a large surface like this is a real challenge indeed, it’s a physical challenge, but not just that, the size, it just changes the whole scale,” said Hafez.

One of the stars of the show is US artist Maya Hayuk. She is best known for her bold geometric patterns, which are constantly and playfully evolving.

“The idea is to bring art onto the streets because Moroccans have a hard time going to galleries and museums. Most people think these are for them but for the elites, so the idea is to bring it onto the street so they will see that art is beautiful, that there is an aesthetic, there are good things about it,” said Mohamed Merhari, Street Art Festival co-organizer.

Majid Elbahar (

Said Dais (

Ed Oner (

From my meetings with Pauline who is based at The British Council in Rabat I was informed about a project with British Council and OCP Fondation who organised “Street Art Caravan”, a celebration of urban art in the Moroccan public space.

The Street Art Caravan aims to awaken the interest of the Moroccan public for urban art especially graffiti, not only through artistic performances that will be conducted in the public space, but also through the various workshops that are going to be organised in collaboration with University and local associations.

The next set of Photographs were taken both in Rabat and also travelling by car to Chefchaouen.


Le Cube is an old apartment transformed into an art centre situated at 2, rue Benzerte, 1er étage, Rabat                  Tél : +212 6 61 18 64 41

[email protected]           

I met the director and founder Elisabeth Piskernik in this Feburary when I was researching artist spaces in Rabat. Le Cube has run an artist residence and exchange program since 2005 and is an exhibition space for Moroccan and foreign artists. It has set up a residence program with several international partners based in Morocco such as l’Institut Français, le Goethe-Institut, Instituto Cervantes, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, l’Ambassade d’Autriche, l’Ambassade de Suisse, l’Ambassade d’Espagne, l’Ambassade des Pays-Bas, MACECE.

Unfortunately Elizabeth was away on vacation due to the quietness of Ramadan (a restful period), however I was fortunate to meet once again Gabrielle Camases and after being shown round the space she kindly sent me some new links for independent art spaces in Casablanca to expand on my knowlege of whats happening in different areas of Morocco. The spaces are as follows….

L’Atelier de la Source du Lion:

Espace Darja


L’Atelier de l’Observatoire

and the Fonds Roberto Cimetta:

Also part of the team at Le Cube is Driss Benabdallah (founder) and Wafaa Mali (artistic projects and communication), with the space open from Tuesday to Friday from 2.30pm to 5.30pm and also by appointment.

You can join their Facebook group « Le Cube – independent art room »

The exhibition when i visited was called Curator’s Zone – Masnaâ Saghir, dans l’intimité, with artists Ismaël, Fakhri El Ghezal et Randa Maroufi, curated by Jeanne Mercier.

For the 4th edition of the curator’s zone Le Cube invited the independent curator and co-founder of the platform Afrique in Visu, Jeanne Mercier. With the desire to extend the existing connections between Rabat and Casablanca, Jeanne Mercier proposes for Le Cube an exhibition linked to the festival MASNAÂ in Casablanca. The 4th edition (9-16th May 2016) of this event is dedicated to the contemporary creation of two cities, Casablanca and Tunis, through the presentation of projects of artists from the two countries in the fields of visual arts, film, music and performance.

Masnaâ Saghir (Mini Masnaa in Darija), taking place at Le Cube, presents three artists whose work explores the relation to privacy at different scales. Dealing with space, even with the one of Le Cube – an old apartment transformed into an art center – the exhibition includes photographic proposals and video works by ismaël, Fakhri El Ghezal and Randa Maroufi.

The curator Jeanne Mercier is co-founder and chef editor of Afrique in visu. In 2005 she realized a thesis on “Les Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie” (LHIVIC-EHESS) and works on new practices and forms of dissemination of photography in North and West Africa. Today she divides her time between Afrique in visu and consulting activities for cultural programming in the field of contemporary photographic practices and the issues of professional photographers in Africa. Currently she writes for various artistic and photographic journals, L’Oeil de la Photographie and Diptyk. In 2015 she was the curator of the “Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie” in Fez. In June/July 2016 she is invited by the City of Lisbon and Africa.Cont/CML. to attend a curatorial research residency.

“Masnaâ” is an annual festival founded and directed by David Ruffel.
ismaël is the invited co-curator of the edition 2016 to be held in Casablanca from 9-16th.

More information about the festival and its program: