Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Water under the bridge?

A lot has happened since we last posted a story. Some things are quite strange, while others are what we expected. The expat numbers in the Fez Medina have shrunk with the "old guard" diminished and the new arrivals, from a younger generation, learning for themselves how to navigate the cultural and bureaucratic landscape.

The most talked about subject at the moment is the conflicting stories that surround the future of the Fez Festival of Sacred Music. The most trusted narrative is that it will not take place in 2023. Meanwhile a search of the web shows many travel and tourist companies are promoting the festival, but without any date or run down on possible performers. If you believe one site, the festival is to be part of a festival in Casablanca!

There is a certain nostalgic longing for a return to the era when Faouzi Skali ran the festival and the important focus was on promoting tolerance and understanding between peoples of different faiths. Yes, there was a welcome injection of money into the local economy, but music was the most important factor. Some people think that the primary motivation of subsequent festivals has been financial. If true it means, sadly, that the original vision for the festival has gone.

Hopefully, the future of the Sufi Festival remains untouched by any background problems.  

In happier news, Australian artist Bryan Dawe has been showing his latest body of work in Tangier. You can listen to the latest interview with Bryan, HERE

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