Video workshop in Morocco gives people a look at themselves

May 2004 -

How do the new media influence contemporary Moroccan art? And how can this art play a part in social change in this society? These questions were the starting point for the Media Art Workshop, held from 12 to 24 April 2004 in the Institut Français in Agadir, Morocco. The workshop was organised by artists Abdellatif Benfaidoul, former resident at the Amsterdam Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, and Aziz Taleb, both of whom live in Europe. Together these artists form the Taleb Cherche Midi collective.

People who live in Agadir, which is situated de-centrally, are not often confronted with other ways of thinking and living. Because they have virtually no way to compare themselves with others, they also lack a clear image of who they themselves are. In turn this means that they can also exert little influence on the way in which they are seen in the rest of Morocco and elsewhere. According to the project description, the workshop intended 'to give the people of Agadir the feeling that they are part of a process in which they can create their own image of themselves'.

During the workshop, public presentations of varying video art pieces were given during five evenings. There were also workshops during which professional artists shared their know-how with semi-professional artists and students. Toni Serra, Joachim Montessuis, Mabil Ayouch, Zhor Rehihi and Alexander Peterhaensel were among the professionals who gave workshops. The themes discussed included non-linear mounting and the history of film and video.

The idea for the media workshops originated in the Video Caravan, a mobile exposition of Moroccan video art that visited Dordrecht, the Netherlands, and Cologne, Germany in 2003. With this mobile exposition, Taleb Cherche Midi wanted to establish links between Moroccans living in Europe and Moroccan artists in Morocco. The video workshop in Morocco is the first in a series of activities intended to enrich the art platform in Agadir. Until now the opportunities for (video) artists there were relatively limited.

The Media Art workshop was supported by the European Cultural Foundation, the Stichting Doen foundation, the Prince Claus fund, the Hubert Bals Fund, the Institut Français in Agadir and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten/RAIN network.

For more information, contact Abdellatif Benfaidoul: