Marrakesh – “not new now”

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Fatiha Zemmouri with her creation at he Biennale

Fatiha Zemmouri with her creation at he Biennale

The 6th Marrakech Biennale was officially opened on 24th February in the 19th Century Bahia Palace by the president of the Biennale, Mr. Amine Kabbaji.

Lasting eleven weeks until May 8th, the Biennale has a commitment to enrich a broad local and international audience and helps by providing free admission.

In thanking those concerned, Mr. Kabbaj also paid tribute to the famous Moroccan photographer, Leila Aloui, who was sadly killed in a terrorist attack in Burkina Faso in January. It was followed by emotional and poetic words from her sister.

Then Reem Fadda, the curator of Biennale delivered her speech explaining that this edition of Biennale, which is themed as “Not New Now” and focused on the new movement of multi-disciplinary arts in Africa and Arab world but with a difference.

This year the Biennale is examining how art is used as a means for cultural resistance and how ideas ranging from abstraction and minimalism to recycling, junk art, and creative survival technologies.

<y personal favourite - This is called Salam - meaning peace - and is by Yahya

The Biennale aims to unite artists from multiple disciplines and provide a creative ground for the display of exhibits by combining art and culture in the various historical locations in the city of Marrakesh.

The concept of “Not New Now” concentrates on creative projects, artistic research, and innovative ideas that respond to the social and political urgencies in the world by looking at living art as a talent that serves people and society.

The Marrakech Biennale was first held in November 2005 and, in the last decade, has become a major festival in North Africa focusing on innovative modern art, photography and film. It has succeeded in promoting the status of the artists and art in North Africa and in mobilizing a creative dynamic between artists to held talks and debates on various social and political issues in the world. And, as its reputation has grown, so has its appeal to tourists.

It is a great opportunity to visit Marrakesh during the Biennale to explore the red city of Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is enclosed by kilometers of ramparts and gates. To see this amazing city with its historical monuments and palaces along with art exhibits, photography exhibitions, art videos, installations and street arts is something everyone should try to do at least once in their lifetime.

the creation of Eric van Hove attracted lots of attention

the creation of Eric van Hove attracted lots of attention

Marrakesh will host the Biennale heritage sites such as Palais El Badi and Palais Bahia, with a variety of art works from over fifty national and international known artists including curators Omar Berrada, Salma Lahlou and Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa, artists Yto Barrada, Eric Van Hove and Mona Hatoum, designer Yahya and architect Khaled Malas who complement the ambitions of the Biennale in parallel to many simultaneous projects across the city.

There is also the added benefit in viewing contemporary art within a historical context in the magical locations of gardens, mansions and palaces which are decorated by Islamic architectural designs and calligraphy.

For more information about Marrakesh visit To find out more about Biennale visit

For more images of the Biennale, go to

Images and story © Mohammed Reza Amirinia


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