One of Morocco’s leading events, bringing together artists primarily from Africa, the Arab world and its diasporas, the Marrakech Biennale, returns this year from February 24 for its sixth edition.
Founded in 2004, the Biennale is North Africa’s first major trilingual festival, focusing on the cutting edge of contemporary literature, film and art in English, Arabic and French, and was founded to address social issues in North Africa through the arts. Running throughout the festival is the main central Visual Arts exhibition, as well as a host of other offerings including art installations, discussions, debates and film screenings, taking place all over the city in an eclectic range of venues. Together, these events will create a structure of art which examines and interrogates cultural commonalities and interlaced relationships across the region, with the main exhibitions being hosted at important historical locations in the medina: Palais badii, Palais Bahia, Dar Si Said, Menara Pavilion and the Koutobia Mosque.
This year’s central exhibition will comprise of artworks under the theme “Not New Now”, curated by Reem Fadda and assistant curator Ilaria Conti, focusing on artistic projects, research and ideas that respond to socio-political urgencies. The exhibition will also include interjections such as a section dedicated to the avant-garde art movement of the Casablanca School, curated by Salma Lahlou and Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa. Throughout various parts of the city, a selection of Partner and Parallel Projects will also be on view.
For the first time, the programme will also be presented free of charge, as part of the Biennale’s aims to connect out to the wider public as well as to Marrakech’s urban historical landscape. It will also be running for a longer period of 11 weeks, each week promising a diverse program of events before coming to a close on May 8.
If you’re planning on visiting the city in time for the Biennale, we’ve got the best riads in Marrakech, situated right in the heart of the city where you can explore the medina and the famous souks to your heart’s content.
Image: Esin Ustun, available under Creative Commons