A new and dynamic network from Moroccan artists based in Fez, creates an international platform for African and other artists to discuss, explore and combine the role and potentials of arts in a modern world. In the third gathering in January 2018 “AFRICA OF THE AFRICANS” we want to explore, how do arts presently address the current challenges of Africa.
Fez Gathering is a network platform based in the city of Fez for Moroccan, African and other artists from abroad, who want to discuss, explore and combine the role and potentials of arts in a modern world. The core questions for our next annual gathering “AFRICA OF THE AFRICANS” in January 2018 are:
The city of Fez is a melting pot of cultures, languages, ideas and arts. The spiritual homeland of medieval intellectuals such as Leo Africanus, Ibn Khaldun, and Ibn Battuta, its streets preserve the stories of some of the greatest thinkers and creative minds in history.
The location of Fez is important for the city represents the marriage of numerous peoples, histories, and cultures over time, including those between Europe and North Africa. As such, the city of Fez is a bridge between the East and the West, between the Islamic World and Europe.
Guest of honor : AFRICA
The challenges of Morocco' economic, political and social development and also of other African countries over the last centuries leads to the delusion, that culture and arts had and have none or little space for developing.
However, from a cultural point of view, Fez is a city with rich and diverse heritage. Already since its foundation, it has been a centre of knowledge and reflection. So, Fez is home of Al-Qarawin, the oldest continuously functioning university in the world and spiritual homeland of medieval intellectuals such as Leo Africanus, Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Battuta. Besides, its streets preserve the stories of some other greatest thinkers and creative minds in history and the city itself is a melting pot of cultures, languages, ideas and arts with a rich continuous narrative over centuries. All those stories weave into the threads of tradition and ancient handcrafts, as well as in new thinkers, idealists, modern artists, and progressive artisans. In addition, annual international cultural events in Fez like the World Sacred Music Festival and the Sufi Music Festival are two milestones of the cultural presence of this city beyond the Moroccan borders.
Similar to Fez, Morocco is nowadays assuming more and more a modern bridging role between countries, continents politics and cultures. After having focused its policies on the Mediterranean and the Arabic world over the last decades, in recent years the Moroccan government aims to strengthen ties with the African countries. For instance, the creation of a Tripartite Free Trade Area in Eastern and Southern Africa might become a starting point for an ambitious continental free trade area after 2017 towards an Africa-wide customs union in 2019. Also Morocco's re-entrance into the African Union and its new acceptance into the ECOWAS economic cooperative region represents a strong interest in fiscal investment and collaboration beyond North Africa and into West Africa.
In summary, presently as in the past, Fez and Morocco's development, history arts and culture are inseparable from the same in other countries in Africa, in the Mediterranean and South European regions. The already existing constant interaction and influence is a source of potential synergies and mutual development.