Saturday, April 22, 2017

Street Art in Morocco ~ More Than Graffiti

Yesterday we asked where this street was. Nobody was able to pinpoint it exactly, but several of our readers guessed it was in Fez. The correct answer is Derb Lmzd Tahti in the Fez Medina

Mohssine and his friend, painted Derb Lmzd in 7 days and then discovered that the paint they had chosen was less than perfect - it came off very quickly!

Once they found the right paint the street was transformed. It was an exciting new look for what had been one of the dirtiest narrow streets in the Medina

There has been a change of attitude towards street art. For a long time considered vandalism, it was only during the last decade that graffiti began to be seen as a pictorial work in its own right, where it was grouped with stencil, collage, posters and mosaics, in what has been called "Street Art".

Street Art, which embellishes public spaces and reflects the know-how and undoubted talent of the artists, is a concept that has just emerged in Western societies. Yet, in Morocco, the notion of urban art has been present since the dawn of time. Arabic calligraphy, zellige and arabesques, as well as the carved wood is undoubtedly art and adorns the alleys of the ancient medinas.

In order to celebrate this art and allow it to occupy its place within the Moroccan artistic and cultural landscape, the festival "Jidar, Toiles de Rue" was created in 2015, inviting artists to decorate public spaces with gigantic frescoes.

Initiated by the association EAC-L'Boulvart, the third edition of the festival "Jidar, Toiles de Rue", will take place from 21 to 30 April in Rabat, and will feature 20 street artists from Morocco, Spain, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Romania, Ukraine, Egypt and Mexico, who will work on ten walls in the city and will "bring back to life the patrimony of yesterday, today ".

This initiative enabled Rabat to be featured on "Artsy", a site specialising in artistic news, among the cities where it is all well and good to be a street artist, and to rub shoulders with some of the largest Cities, including Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Melbourne.

See our earlier story about street art in Rabat
Thanks to Begoña Parajón Robles for the photographs of Derb Lmzd



Gwyn said...

I was surprised to see the walls and path of a UNESCo protected site covered in pastel colors. I would characterize this art as a defacing of public property. I wondered if the medersa gave iits approval to have its wall defaced, or the authorities who regulate for UNESCO gave their approval. If it had been in carpet colors I might have disliked it less. Banners could be hung or canvases but to paint is egregious in my opinion. I would not like to see that act of vandalism on my beloved Taj Mahal or the Duomo or Vatican or pyramids.

Unknown said...

This article reminds me of my desert tour in Marrakech. Thank you so much for sharing it :)