A new and dynamic network of Moroccan artists based in Fez presents an international platform for artists to explore the role and potential of the arts in a modern world. In its third edition in January 2018, “AFRICA OF THE AFRICANS,” the Fez Gathering will explore how the arts can address the current challenges of Africa.
The core questions for the 2018 Fez Gathering will be:
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 because 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's economic, political and social development and that of other African countries over the last centuries can lead to the illusion that arts and culture have little or no space to develop here. However, from a cultural point of view, Fez is a city with rich and diverse heritage. Since its foundation, Fez has been a center of knowledge and reflection. Fez is home to Al-Qarawin, the oldest continuously functioning university in the world, and is the spiritual homeland of medieval intellectuals such as Leo Africanus, Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Battuta. 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 and continuous creative narrative over centuries. The threads of these stories are woven into the ancient handcraft traditions of Fez, and today animate new thinkers, idealists, modern artists, and progressive artisans. 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.
Like Fez, today Morocco is assuming 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 has aimed to strengthen ties with African countries. 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, now as in the past, Fez and Morocco's development, history, arts and culture are inseparable from those of other countries in Africa, in the Mediterranean and South European regions. This constant interaction and influence is a source of potential synergies and mutual development.