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Workshop in Rabat: models of residency practice

On 13 November, at Le Cube in Rabat, Arts Cabinet ran a workshop sponsored by Mimeta which brought together artists residency spaces, artists, architects, arts organisations, cultural practitioners, funders and academics from Morocco, Tunisia, Norway, Scotland, Belgium, France and Spain.

The aim of the workshop was to discuss ways in which Moroccan residency spaces could form part of a broader network of residency spaces across the Maghreb and the Nordic Countries. The goal of this network is to develop a meaningful long term artistic exchange programme, based on shared visions and common beliefs including the importance of collaborative research and dissemination in contemporary arts practice

The extraordinary richness of the sector in Morocco became very apparent during a lively discussion about the condition of Morocco’s arts infrastructure. Bricolage, a recurring word, was used to describe the process of making it happen. The result is an extraordinary combination of enormous commitment to art with the most ingenious creativity to enable a powerful artistic expression.

The artistic residency context alone is made of a variety of models. These include: artist led initiatives such as Playa Blanca, an artist’s house by the sea (where artists are invited to develop work); an artist’s studio made available to share knowledge and exchange through residency practice in Casablanca (the Ultra-Laboratory); Dar al-Ma’mûn an arts centre located in a rural area on the outskirts of Marrakech which offers a variety of residencies operating through an innovative economic model by creating a high-end hotel to finance activities; Trankat, in Tetouan, an exquisite heritage house of late Moroccan style where artists come in residence whilst using the Medina as a space for artistic intervention…In Rabat, an independent room, Le Cube, the L’Appartement 22 and Espace Kulte form the new arts quarter of the city…

An exciting proposition is emerging from Morocco and a network of residency spaces will collaborate with Nordic residency spaces to exchange artists, reflect on issues of common concern, and generate discourse platforms, publication, interdisciplinary collaboration…

Image: Mohamed Arejdal, Azro N'Tmazert, summer's lab 2012, Le Cube - independent art room, 2012