Professor Rachid El Alaoui was in Rabat to greet me, taking me to a main square called Pietri Place, Place Moulay El Hassan where lots of mainly young Moroccans and families gather for coffee and socialising after breaking the fast (Eid al-Fitr). There was a lovely vibrant energy of social engagement whist we discussed my project plans and organisation of future meetings.
My project originated from a proposal sent to the Marrakech Biennale held in February and March 2016 with the theme of ‘Not New Now’ and the presentation of ‘Parallel projects’ an open call to engage in a wider community of artists and cultural practitioners. A selection committee of esteemed art practitioners was formulated to oversee the process of selecting the projects that run alongside the main exhibition of the Biennale. This selection of projects will be based on the merit of the artistic product and its general abiding to the theme set for the Biennale.
The purpose of the Parallel Projects is to open the opportunity to a wider spectrum providing a level of international visibility to the local scene. The inclusion of a rich array locally will also guarantee the diversification of audiences as well. The curator of the Biennale, who was part of the selecting committee and helped assign various spaces for the Parallel Projects ensured visibility and coherence in ideas and presentation. The artistic committee composed of Jamal Abdenasser MB6, M’barek Bouhchichi Hicham Lahlou, Sandrine Dole, Estelle Guillé, Tamer Khalid Amine Kabbaj and Reem Fadda met in Marrakech 18-19 September.
More than 300 applications had been submitted from over 50 different countries and the committee selected 30 projects. Among the selection there was a predominance of visual arts projects with 24 proposals, including 9 videos, 9 installations and 4 photography projects. Another 6 performing arts enterprises and 10 projects for the Art in public space was selected.
After my initial proposal was declined I was approached by International artist Said Rais, who invited me to apply for a project of video art exchange in Marrakech in collaboration with Rm.74 under the umbrella of the MB6. Said Rais is a multidisciplinary artist who’s creative involves video, sound installation, performance, photography and drawing. He graduated from the National Institute of Fine Arts in Tetouane. This is the main university for the arts in Morocco. I have heard of, and hope to visit, a university of film making in Rabat called ISMAC : Institut Superieur des Métiers de L’audovisuel et du Cinéma.