Art Moves Africa – Retracing Roots and Tracing New Routes: Mobility and Touring in North Africa

A study by Lara Bourdin for Art Moves Africa, October 2019

A study by Lara Bourdin for Art Moves Africa, October 2019

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Roots and


New Routes:


and Touring

in North


A study by Lara Bourdin

for Art Moves Africa

October 2019


Roots and


New Routes:


and Touring

in North


A study by Lara Bourdin

for Art Moves Africa

October 2019


Acknowledgments and Imprint

This study is by and large the fruit of five months of exchanges and

conversations with ninety artists and cultural actors spread across North

Africa as well as neighbouring regions. The researcher would first and

foremost like to thank the respondents who generously contributed their

time, knowledge, and above all their insights and their ideas. It was an

honour to learn from them about the complex issue that is (artistic and

cultural) mobility in North Africa today.

The researcher extends her warm thanks to Khadija El Bennaoui, Director

of AMA, for her guidance and presence throughout the research and

writing processes. Particular thanks go to Maria Daïf, for the orientation

and inspiration in Casablanca, and her careful edits to important sections

of the draft. AMA would also like to thank the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs of Norway for generously supporting this research.

This research was carried out for Art Moves Africa (AMA) aisbl. The views

taken and analyses presented are those of the author and do not necessarily

represent the views of AMA. The findings of the study are based on

the mapping carried out between December 2018 and April 2019.

Released and produced by Art Moves Africa (AMA) aisbl

Mapping study and report: Lara Bourdin

Design: Eps51, Berlin — www.eps51.com

Head of the publication: Khadija El Bennaoui

© Art Moves Africa, 2019

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-

NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Table of Contents


























Background of AMA’s research program

Purpose of the research

Socio-historical context

Overview of mobility in North Africa


Key terms



Mapping of opportunities









Western Sahara



page 4

page 6

page 7

page 9

page 10

page 12

page 13

page 16

page 19

page 20

page 22

page 25

page 25

page 34

page 45

page 46

page 55

page 62

page 69

page 75

page 83

page 90

page 95

page 103


Appendix A : Acronyms

Appendix B: Respondents

Appendix C: Bibliography

page 121

page 123

page 127





In a world where freedom

is better guaranteed

for goods and

digital products than for human beings, more and more

people are being condemned to watch as the space of

their fundamental rights and freedoms shrinks. Many

of them have been forced to flee wars, climate change

or oppressive regimes. It is often their freedom of movement

that is most threatened, as travel restrictions

multiply in the face of rising anti-migration sentiments.

Cultural diversity has never been in as much danger as

it is in today’s polarized world.

Strategically positioned at the crossroads of Europe,

Africa and Asia, North Africa is one of the regions that

is most significantly affected by ongoing tensions in the

geopolitical arena. The first spark of the Arab uprising

in 2010 in Tunisia is still coursing through the whole

region. It has brought hope, with high-spirited and

creative civic initiatives led mainly by young people. Yet

restrictions on the freedom of movement and speech

of its people have also reached their highest peaks in

the last decade.

This mapping study is a contribution by AMA to shed

light on the actors and initiatives that are striving to

revive historical connections and build new bridges

between North Africa and the rest of the continent, as

a form of resistance but also as a means of unlearning

colonial modes of relating with the regions south of the

Sahara and north of the Mediterranean. This study is

the 4th volume of AMA’s mapping series, which aims

to address the obstacles to artistic mobility within

Africa by providing information on the infrastructures,

the institutional and funding frameworks as well as

the challenges and opportunities linked with mobility

on the continent.

We hope this study will help inform both practitioners

and policy makers on the ways to promote and support

artistic mobility within Africa.

Khadija El Bennaoui

AMA Director


Key Messages





The mobility of artists and cultural operators is a right, not a privilege.


Desire for mobility is very strong amongst artists and cultural

practitioners, in North-South, East-West and South-South directions.

a) North-South mobility remains important, namely for training

and opportunities to connect with a greater diversity of


b) East-West and South-South mobility are important axes

to develop in the interest of exploring shared histories,

nurturing creative synergies and developing solidarity.


There is an urgent need to work at the level of the imagination, desire

and dreaming to nurture existing desire for South-South exchange

and to create it where it does not yet exist.

a) Promote networking amongst African cultural actors: meetings,

go-and-see tours, residencies, etc.

b) Promote information-sharing: online platforms, information

hubs, key people and ambassadors.


Mobility can only improve if political and administrative barriers are

addressed and lifted.

a) There is an urgent need for mobilization amongst cultural actors

in Africa, Europe and internationally to document and

denounce increasingly restrictive visa policies, especially from

the Schengen space.

b) Advocate for greater understanding of the stakes and importance

of artistic mobility.


Mobility is not simply about quantitative factors but about the quality

of the experience at the creative and human levels.

a) The human and creative dimensions of the mobility experience

must be central in initiatives geared at promoting arts mobility.




Fact :

AMA didn’t

provide grants in 2013, 2014

or 2017 due to limited funds.

The statistics included are based

on all other years between

2005 and 2018.



IN —




Art Moves Africa (AMA) is an international notfor-profit

organisation that aims to facilitate cultural

and artistic exchanges within the African

continent. AMA offers travel grants to artists

and cultural practitioners living and working in

Africa to travel within the African continent in

order to engage in the exchange of information,

the enhancement of skills, the development of informal

networks and the pursuit of cooperation.

AMA was first launched as a program

by the Young Arab Theatre Fund (YATF) and a

group of African organizations. It was designed

to facilitate and encourage the mobility of artists

and cultural operators within the African continent.

In 2001, YATF participated in meetings in

Egypt, Kenya and Zimbabwe, together with different

organizations and cultural activists from

Africa and the Arab world. The meetings were

aimed at linking organizations and individuals,

and creating informal continent-wide networks.

The participants agreed that one of the major

obstacles for artists and cultural professionals

in Africa was the persistent lack of funds specifically

allocated to support travel. AMA was

launched in July 2005.

Over the last 14 years, AMA has allocated

809 grants to artists and art practitioners

living and working in Africa. A wide range of

projects has thus been implemented to develop

the African creative sector. AMA has produced

regular evaluations and collected statistics of

applications received and of grants allocated to

African cultural practitioners. Moreover, it has

commissioned and published three studies on

mobility and touring in East (2011/2015) and

Central Africa (2015), as well as a guide to cultural

mobility funding opportunities to/from Africa

in collaboration with On the Move (2015/2018).

These initiatives have helped AMA to develop

its interventions as a grant-making organization

and to identify needs within the African artistic

mobility sector.





of AMA’s



AMA launched its research program

in 2011, in recognition of the

complexity of mobility and touring

in Africa and in the hopes of filling

the vast gaps in knowledge

and data pertaining to the topic. It has produced three

studies to date: two focus on East Africa (performing

arts and visual arts) and one focuses on Central Africa.

Through these studies, it has contributed to the

development of knowledge, initiatives and policies that

strengthen mobility on the continent. Indeed, AMA’s

statistics show a substantial impact on mobility in the

East African and Central African arts sectors since

the publication of the studies.

In East Africa, mobility appears to have increased,

with a significant jump in the number of

applications to / from East Africa per session (see

next page). Events such as Addis Foto Fest in Addis

Ababa and Bayimba Arts Festival have become major

international platforms, drawing artists from across

the region, the continent and the world. AMA has also

received significant numbers of applications for events

such as the Karibu Music Festival in Dar Es Salaam; the

Bagamoyo Festival; Tuzinne Festival in Kampala; as well

as for projects in Kigali and Lilongwe. Finally, a new,

regional mobility fund has emerged: the British Council’s

East Africa Travel Grant.



Grant applications received before and after

the East Africa studies (2011 and 2012)

FROM East Africa:

· 108 total applications until Session 20 in 2011

(inclusive), with an average of 5.4 applications /


· 166 total applications until Session 23 in 2012

(inclusive), with an average of 7 applications /


· 121 total applications in 2015 and 2018,

with an average of 17 applications / session

TO East Africa:

· 212 total applications until Session 20 in 2011

(inclusive), with an average of 10.6 applications

/ session

· 222 total applications until Session 23 in 2012

(inclusive), with an average of 9.6 applications /


· 146 total applications in 2015 and 2018, with

an average of 21 applications / session

Grants awarded before and after the East

Africa studies (2011 and 2012)

FROM East Africa:

· 78 total selected until Session 20 in 2011 (inclusive),

with an average of 3.9 selected / session

· 85 total selected until Session 23 in 2012 (inclusive),

with an average of 3.7 selected / session

· 57 total selected in 2015 and 2018, with an

average of 8.1 selected / session

TO East Africa:

· 93 total selected until Session 20 in 2011 (inclusive),

with an average of 4.7 selected / session

· 98 total selected until Session 23 in 2012 (inclusive),

with an average of 4.3 selected / session

· 40 total selected in 2015 and 2018, with an

average of 5.7 selected / session

and to what extent the infrastructure issues identified

in the 2015 study have been addressed.

Developments of note include the emergence of

events such as the African Cup of Slam Poetry

in N’Djamena, Chad, which was a major driver

for mobility in Central Africa in 2018.

Grant applications received before and after

the Central Africa study (2015)

FROM Central Africa:

· 431 total applications until Session 28 in 2015

(inclusive), with an average of 15.4 applications

/ session

· 58 total applications in 2018, with an average

of 29 applications/session

TO Central Africa:

· 375 total applications until Session 28 in 2015

(inclusive), with an average of 13.4 applications

/ session

· 67 total applications in 2018, with an average

of 33.5 applications / session

Grants awarded before and after the Central

Africa study (2015)

FROM Central Africa:

· 152 total selected until Session 28 in 2015

(inclusive), with an average of 5.4 selected / session

· 2 total selected in 2018, with an average of

1 selected / session

TO Central Africa:

· 130 total applications until Session 28 in 2015

(inclusive), with an average of 4.6 selected /


· 5 total applications in 2018, with an average

of 2.5 selected / session

In Central Africa, impact is more difficult to

measure given that AMA’s grants program was

suspended between 2016 and mid-2018. Further

study would be necessary to determine whether




Purpose of

the research

This research was commissioned by AMA

in August 2018. Its purpose is to shed light

on the situation of artistic and cultural mobility

in the North African region and in relation with the

other African regions. It namely aims to illuminate the

factors underpinning the relative weakness of mobility

to / from / within North Africa.

Indeed, since AMA’s launch in 2005, North Africa has

consistently been the region that generates the smallest

number of mobility grant applications, on all three

fronts: that is, in terms of outgoing mobility, incoming

mobility, and intra-regional mobility:

· In terms of outgoing mobility, it has generated a total

of 169 projects, accounting for an average 8% of total

mobility projects since 2005, behind East Africa at


· In terms of incoming mobility, it has attracted a total

of 179 projects, accounting for an average 9% of

total mobility projects since 2005, behind East and

Southern Africa (tied at 18%).

· In terms of intra-regional mobility, it has generated

a total of 28 projects, accounting for an average of

1% of total mobility projects since 2005.

See section 1.4,

“Overview of

Mobility in North

Africa” below

for detailed

information on


trends to/from

North Africa.

This report is divided into the following

sections: 1 Introduction; 2 Methodology;

3 Summary of opportunities and impediments

to mobility to/from North Africa;

4 Country-specific information; 5 Conclusion

and Recommendations. It also includes

three Appendices: A a mapping of

arts spaces, venues and events in North

Africa, including graphs and contact information

; B a list of the study’s respondents;

and C a bibliography.






This report addresses mobility in a

region broadly designated as “North

Africa,” all the while recognizing the

instability of the term and the complexity

of the realities it purports to

encapsulate. Indeed, “North Africa” as

a geopolitical entity is largely the product

of divisions instituted by international

organizations along boundaries

established by colonial powers. These divisions

are upheld to this day by organizations such as

the African Union and the United Nations, albeit

with varying boundaries. They are also upheld in

everyday conversation, conceptions of identity,

cultural products and events.

1. 3


and historical


As a cultural and linguistic space, North Africa

is defined by a number of factors. First, the

heritage of the Amazighen (or Berbers), who are

the first inhabitants of present-day Morocco,

Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, northern Mali

and Niger as well as western Egypt. The region

is also bound by the sweep of Arabization and

Islamization, which took place between roughly

600 and 1000 A.D. Finally, the present-day countries

of North Africa share a common history of

Ottoman conquest (except Morocco, Mauritania

and Western Sahara) and 19 th - and 20th-century

European colonialism, with Morocco, Tunisia,

Algeria and Mauritania having been under French

rule; Libya under Italian rule; and Egypt being

occupied as a British protectorate from 1882

to 1952.


« Every time I want to get funding for a project,

I need to declare if I’m North African or

Southern African; Christian or Muslim;

Anglo or Franco. We’re being boxed into

spaces where we have to find ourselves within

a single identity. To successfully fill out that

form, you have to do away with the multilayered-ness

and complexity of that identity. Who

says I have to choose? Why can’t I be both? »

Jihan El-Tahri

Filmmaker, Cairo / Berlin.

Quote from Keynote speech

at 1:54 contemporary art fair in Marrakech, 2017.



Arab identity was reinforced at the time of decolonization,

with pan-Arabism becoming the

“ideological lingua franca” across the region

and the Middle East (El Amrani, 2011). Part

and parcel of this process was the glossing

over and erasure of the multiplicity of cultural,

linguistic and ethnic identities within the

various nation states, with marginalization

of Amazigh heritage, language and culture as well

as those of Black individuals and communities.

Amazigh resistance movements have obtained

some recognition at state level, with Algeria

redefining itself as an “Arab, Berber, Muslim”

nation and Morocco recognizing Amazigh as an

official language in 2011. North Africans’ “African”

identity has been more complex to unearth and


North Africa’s “separateness” is often justified

by the presence of the Sahara desert, largely

on the basis of conceptions of the desert as an

“empty space” by European geographers and

explorers and thus as an invisible border separating

the continent. Artists and intellectuals have

contested this idea, noting its correlation with

colonial and contemporary geopolitical agendas

and reminding us that the Sahara has been

a space of advanced political and social

organization, hospitality, trade and cultural

exchange for centuries. Indeed, trade routes

have traversed its expanse, linking cities

and civilizations to the North and South as

well as those within it.

There is also a push to revive and nurture

the pan-Africanist energies, intellectual

productions and artistic connections that

were developed in the 1950s and 60s. Notably,

Algeria hosted the first Pan-African

festival of 1969. This thrust of pan-Africanist

unity collapsed due to a number of factors,

both internal and external to the continent.

Connections between North and South are

now playing out in the economic sphere,

with Morocco making important overtures


« There is an assumption

that the Maghreb is

something somewhere

else than in Africa and

even that Egypt is an

archaeological island off

the coast of American

universities. »

Koyo Kouoh

Chief curator of Zeitz

Museum of Contemporary

African Art, Cape Town/

former executive director

of RAW Material Company


Quote from Opening Remarks

at 1:54 art fair, 2017

to other African nations in the areas of foreign

investment and trade; Algeria has been following

suit. How do art and cultural production

participate or not in connecting North and

South today?



Contemporary regionalization has created

further boundaries within and outside North

Africa. On the largest scale, North Africa is

often grouped with the Middle East under

the acronym MENA, or else is subsumed as

a space within the Arab World. These terms

are used in politics, academia, business and

media, by international organizations such

as the World Bank and the United Nations,

as well as by most international development

organizations. Egypt occupies a unique status

within this space, due to its positioning at the

hinge between the African continent and the

Middle East.

Within North Africa, regionalization operates

mainly at two levels: first, at the

level of the Maghreb; and secondly, at

the level of the (Euro-)Mediterranean

space. The Maghreb connects Morocco,

Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania.

The unifying factor is mainly cultural, with

the countries sharing Amazigh heritage.

Shared colonial histories and resultant

linguistic commonality also bind Tunisia,

Morocco and Algeria. The Maghreb’s

geopolitical and economic identity was

formalized with the 1989 formation of

the Arab Maghreb Union. However, the

union remains largely inactive due to

enduring tensions between Morocco

and Algeria over Western Sahara.

The regionalization of the Euro-Mediterranean

was formalized in 2008

at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean.

Its aim is to reinforce the



Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that

began in 1995 as the Barcelona Process as a

means of “turning the Mediterranean basin into

an area of dialogue, exchange and cooperation

guaranteeing peace, stability and prosperity”

(Barcelona declaration, 1995). At present, all North

African countries are included in the partnership,

with the exception of Libya, which possesses

Observer status.

These levels of regionalization are critical for

arts mobility to the extent that they have underpinned

the formation of cultural networks, funding

schemes and thus spaces of exchange. The

funding landscape in North Africa is characterized

by the presence of numerous funds operating

at the MENA level: the Arab Fund for

Arts and Culture (AFAC), Al-Mawred

al-Thafaqy and Mophradat are the

three most prominent. At the Euromed

level, there is a plethora of funding

schemes, among them the Roberto

Cimetta Fund (RCF), the European

Cultural Foundation (ECF) & MitOst’s

TandemShaml, the ECF’s STEP Travel

Grants, etc., all of which are ongoing.

Other funds, such as SouthMedCV

(2015 2018), are rolled out within set

timeframes. These funds have allowed for

vital projects, partnerships and networks

to emerge across the region.

See Section 3.1.1 for more information

on Funding.

In this landscape, Art Moves Africa is

the first mobility fund that has worked

to integrate North Africa in the rest of

the continent. Nevertheless, North Africa

continues to be the region that generates

the fewest mobility grant applications.

The question that drives this

research is: why?


« Where did the term

‘Sub-Saharan Africa’ come from

since it never appears in

colonial literature?

What exactly are the contours

of this ‘region’ since it

is not demarcated on any map?

Is it a geographic location or is

it a political construct?

How come Mauritania is

considered Sub-Saharan yet

Sudan is not?

Most importantly, how did we,

as Africans,

start adhering to the postcolonial

remapping of our own

spaces and identities? »

Jihan El-Tahri



Quote from RAW Material Company

public lecture,

12 April, 2017.



1. 4

Overview of

mobility in

North Africa

Based on AMA’s statistics, gathered

over the period 2005 2018, Morocco,

Tunisia and Egypt are the countries that have the strongest mobility

trends. The chart below illustrates the volume of mobility to/from

other African regions for each North African country:

Outgoing mobility


Incoming mobility

exchange with other African regions in %



















In order of volume of exchange with North Africa, the

following countries are most active:











Cameroon and South Africa

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)


Burkina Faso

Kenya and Tanzania

Côte d’Ivoire



Most exchanges happen with West Africa, with Senegal,

Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Nigeria being the

most active countries. Egypt has relatively strong links

with Nigeria. The Dakar Biennale is repeatedly cited as

a reference for visual artists across North Africa; other

events that are often noted include the Marché

des Arts et du Spectacle (MASA Market for

Performing Arts) in Abidjan and the Bamako

and Lagos biennales.

Exchange is roughly the same with South, Central

and East Africa (14 16%). Cameroon is by

far the country in Central Africa that generates

the most exchange, with strong ties to Morocco

and Egypt in particular; it is followed by

DRC. In East Africa, Ethiopia is the country that

generates the most exchange, largely thanks to

strong ties with Egypt; Kenya and Tanzania are

the other two major hubs for mobility. In Southern

Africa, South Africa is by far the country

that generates the most exchange, presumably

due to its strong cultural sector and capacity to

host international events.


« I’m working on African identity.

Culturally, we have many points

in common. There are trends

linking all North African countries,

whether they be in dance, music…

there’s a history that links us,

sometimes a painful one, because

all the trade routes were between

North and South. There’s a large

community of black Africans

from South of the Sahara that has

become North African. We need to

recognize this entity. […]

I think Africa has a great future.

It’s a future we have to build

ourselves; no one outside should

decide what we should be. »

Bahri Ben Yahmed

Dancer and choreographer,

Danseurs Citoyens & Lang’art,


Quote translated from French

by the author.

Other translated quotes will be marked

(*) throughout the document.





This study is based

on interviews

with ninety

artists and cultural






The research for this study was conducted between

December 2018 and April 2019. It is primarily based

on interviews that were conducted with ninety

artists and cultural operators spread across North

Africa, as well as neighbouring regions.


The research was divided into three overlapping





Identification of artists, cultural

operators, spaces and stakeholders

(December 2018 February 2019)

Interviews (December 2018 March 2019)

a) Field visit to Casablanca and Rabat,

December 10 16, 2018

b) Desk-based interviews, Skype and


Two respondents asked to

respond in writing.

Report compilation (March April 2019)

Interviews were primarily conducted via Skype,

with the exception of sixteen interviews which

were conducted in-person during a field visit to

Casablanca and Rabat in December 2018 and two

which were conducted in writing. The methodology

was semi-structured, following a questionnaire

prepared in advance by the AMA Secretariat. This

method was chosen in the interest of allowing an

organic conversation to develop and to guide the

direction of the interview.









There is no single commonly accepted

definition of the term “North Africa,”

which encompasses meanings of a

geographical, political and cultural nature. In geographic

terms, it may refer to the area that lies between the

Atlantic Ocean to the West; the Mediterranean Sea to the

North; the Red Sea to the East; and the Sahara desert to

the South. In geopolitical terms, it is employed by international

organizations such as the African Union (AU) and

the United Nations (NU) to designate different groupings

of countries. The nation-states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia,

Libya and Egypt are included in both groupings; however,

the AU includes Mauritania but not Sudan or South

Sudan, while the UN includes Sudan and South Sudan

but not Mauritania. The term “North Africa” also overlaps

with several others, namely the “Arab world” and

the “Maghreb” (see below). AMA acknowledges these

caveats and debates. However, in this document, it uses

the term “North Africa” to designate a region consisting

of the following states: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania,

Morocco, Tunisia and the disputed territory of Western


The Maghreb is the region encompassing Algeria, Libya,

Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Western Sahara. Mauritania,

Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya established

the Arab Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation

and economic integration in a common market. However,

the Union is stalled due to ongoing conflict between

Morocco and Algeria over the issue of Western Sahara.

MENA is the commonly used acronym for “Middle East

and North Africa.” There is no stable definition of the term

either. The following countries are typically included in the

MENA: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel,

Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Oman,

Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United

Arab Emirates and Yemen. Other countries that may be

included are Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chad,

Comoros, Cyprus, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia,

Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Northern Cyprus, Sahrawi Arab

Democratic Republic, Somalia, Sudan and Turkey.







MENASA is the acronym for “Middle East, North Africa

and South Asia.” It typically designates the MENA countries

as well as a subset of countries in Asia, most prominently

India and Pakistan. However, as with the other

acronyms cited above, its boundaries are not set. It is

mainly used in economic and financial circles but is also

gaining currency in the contemporary art and cultural


Although it is sometimes used interchangeably with the

term MENA, the term “Arab world” typically refers to the

22 states of the Arab league: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros,

Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya,

Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi

Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab

Emirates and Yemen.

Mobility in the arts sector is for the purpose of this study

defined as the temporary relocation of an artist to a region

or a country other than that of permanent residence,

for the purpose of presentation, performance, study,

teaching or rehearsal. The relationship between mobility

and migration is frequently related to economic means of

survival (less frequently to an improvement on a social or

economic scale). Drawing the line between artistic mobility

and migration can be challenging as some artists will

spend part of their career living and working in another

country (Wiesand, 2008) and eventually become associated

with the country of their choice.

According to the new Oxford American Dictionary, a

“tour” can refer to a journey made by performers or an

athletic team, in which they perform or play in several

different places. These places do not necessarily need

to be located in several countries. A touring circuit is a

more or less closely defined network of performance or

exhibition places for the purpose of circulating artwork

and performances. The organizers are generally the ones

who determine how open or closed this network is and

what criteria are applied for membership and development.






The study is of course not exhaustive.

It namely does not cover the

complex problematics of travel to/

from rural areas. It concentrates on

capital cities, which are the locales most likely to

be covered by AMA grants. Further study is necessary

to offer a more comprehensive perspective

on mobility to/from other large cities in the region

as well as rural areas.


The term “North Africa” has an unstable meaning

(see Section 2.1) and as such the scope of the study

does not capture all the realities that the term may

refer to. For example, this study does not cover

Sudan (covered in the 2012 and 2015 studies on

East Africa).


Research was conducted in French and English. As

such, it is possible that certain potential interlocutors

were not reached and that information was not

identified or included. One interlocutor declined to

grant an interview because it would not be conducted

in Arabic.


Interviews were not always completed in full due

to time considerations. The questionnaire was

long and conversations were very often rich and

wide-ranging. Certain questions were often excluded

in the interest of capturing the most essential

information and respecting interlocutors’ time.


Research was desk-based rather than field-based.

As such it was not possible to meet respondents

simultaneously, nor to visit spaces, studios, venues,




Le radeau (The Raft), by Cyrine Gannoun and Majdi Boumatar, tells the story

of 8 clandestine migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy.

Photo courtesy of Cyrine Gannoun/Théâtre El-Hamra.


Sunmmary of Outcomes



Sometimes, preconceptions, blockages of

the imagination, and maybe even of desire,

can get in the way of conceiving projects or

travelling South.

Mariem Guellouz

Dancer and researcher,

Director of

Les Journées chorégraphiques

de Carthage*


Summary of Outcomes








A major objective of this study was to highlight

the infrastructure and map the resources

that are currently in place to facilitate the

mobility of artists and cultural operators in

North Africa. The major cross-country infrastructures

facilitating mobility in North Africa

(funding opportunities, transport links and options, and

existing service providers) are described in the following

sub-sections. Country-specific information regarding

venues, events, organizations and other artistic facilities

is provided in Section 4 of the report.

Overall, it can be said that infrastructures vary substantially

from country to country, as a function of cultural

policy, history and economic conditions. Most opportunities

are concentrated in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt,

although this landscape is changing in response to increasing

repression in Egypt and the evolving sector

in Tunisia. There are promising developments in Libya,

Mauritania and even in Western Sahara, but these of


Summary of Outcomes

course remain extremely limited in terms of capacity for

facilitating mobility and are subject to extremely precarious

political / economic conditions.

A mapping of existing arts venues and events that may

host mobility projects involving African cultural actors is

provided in Appendix A of the report.

Other useful mappings of existing service providers, spaces and venues

can be found on the following websites:

1. The North Africa Cultural Mobility Map, a research and

info-platform about residency and mobility initiatives for

artists, writers and researchers interested in travelling and

developing projects from within North Africa

2. Independent Arts and Culture Spaces in the Arab

World, a 2013 publication by the Young Arab Theatre Fund

(now Mophradat)

3. Morocco ArtMap by Racines

4. Carte Culturelle de l’Algérie by the Groupe de Travail sur

la Politique Culturelle en Algérie

5. Perform-arts.net by Reflection Arts, Training & Development

a database of cultural organizations and spaces in

Alexandria, Egypt

6. Digi MENA for digital artists in the MENA region. Coordinated

by Out of the Circle and supported by the Goethe


7. Alternative Art Guide, an online database of non-profit,

artist-run and independent spaces around the world

8. DutchCulture / Transartists, an online database of artists’

residencies worldwide


Summary of Outcomes


Funding for mobility to and from North Africa is provided at six

main levels:


While public administrations in most of the countries covered by

this study have the capacity to fund mobility, provision of funds

is generally characterized by opacity, clientelism, preference for

traditional and/or folkloric forms, and poor administration.

Respondents in Tunisia and to a lesser extent Morocco were

the most likely to obtain funds from their Ministries of Culture.

The only formal program supporting mobility in the region is

Tfanen Tunisie Créative, created through a partnership between

the EU and the Tunisian state (see Tunisia section for more detail).


Several civil society organizations do crucial and inspiring work

to support mobility in North Africa. In addition to AMA, the most

prominent organizations are:


Culture Resource

(Al Mawred Al-Thaqafy)

Based in Beirut, Culture Resource (Al-Mawred Al-Thaqafy) is a

regional, non-profit organization founded in 2003 that seeks to

support artistic creativity in the Arab region and to encourage

cultural exchange within the region and beyond.

Its main program for mobility support is Wijhat. It is open to artists

and cultural managers of all disciplines. All departure countries

and destinations are eligible, with the exception of Israel,

although travel must be to or from an Arab country. Air travel

as well as internal road / train connections are covered. Additionally,

the fund covers visa costs, accommodation and partial

support for living expenses.


Summary of Outcomes

The program offers 25 to 30 grants per year in three rounds.

Al Mawred Al-Thaqafy has also supported mobility via its

training programs for cultural managers.


Arab Fund for Arts

and Culture (AFAC)

Based in Beirut, the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture AFAC

was founded in 2007 through the initiative of Arab cultural

activists as an independent foundation to support individual

artists, writers, researchers, intellectuals, as well as organizations

from the Arab region working in the field of arts and


AFAC currently runs nine open call grants programs and

one training program by nomination. Each grants program

has one annual open call during which applications are submitted

online. The grants are not mobility grants. However,

travel is covered so long as it is part of the implementation

of a project.

In addition, AFAC has just launched the new North Africa

Cultural Program (NACP), a three-year program (2019 2022)

dedicated to five countries in North Africa: Morocco, Algeria,

Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. It comprises two support schemes,

a National Fund and a Regional Fund. The program is run

through an open-call scheme and covers institutional and

programmatic support to active arts organizations based in

the five countries, including cross-border collaborations.



Based in Belgium, Mophradat offers a granting program for

artists to support individuals, collaborations, or collectives

to develop their practice. Among other activities, the grants

can be used to pursue threads of research, stage an event,

make new work, publish, travel, take part in a residency or

workshop, or present an exhibition or performance. Average

amount is $5.000. Mophradat’s emphasis is on contemporary

art. Activities or projects can take place anywhere in the

world, but must be carried out by artists living or working in

the Arab world and/or engaged with the Arab world.


Roberto Cimetta Fund


Based in Paris, the Roberto Cimetta Fund is an international

non-profit grant-making organization supporting the mobility

and creativity of artists and cultural operators in Europe, the

Arab world and beyond.


Summary of Outcomes

The RCF provides support for mobility through two programmes:

a the Mobility fund; and b Tamteen, or the support

fund. The Mobility Fund is divided into two streams:

the General Fund, and specific funding lines, which vary from

year to year. The General Fund is open to artists and cultural

operators living and working in the Euro-Arab-Middle East

geographical zone. Applicants from the MENA region or the

Balkan countries can apply to travel to other African regions

(as well as Asia or other world regions). A maximum of 3

individuals per group may be covered.

The Tamteen support fund can cover mobility as part of

the structuring of oganizations and collectives in the Arab

world. Maximum funding is 3.000 euros. Five projects are

selected per call.


Africa Art Lines

An inspiring new initiative is Africa Art Lines, run by Morocco-based

civil society organization Afrikayna. Launched

in 2016, Africa Art Lines provides mobility grants to projects

connecting Morocco and other African countries. It does so

through two main schemes: 1) Partnerships with organizations

and events; 2) Open calls. Support is delivered via the

host organization. See Morocco section for more detail.



Many artists and cultural operators in North Africa have travelled thanks

to funding provided by embassies and international cooperation institutes

present in their cities. However, there are at present no formal mobility

schemes and funding is thus generally provided on a case-by-case

basis, often through artists’ or cultural operators’ personal connections

within the institutes. A bilateral component or connection to the European

country is generally a prerequisite for funding to be provided.

The most prominent cooperation institute across the region is the Institut

Français, which retains a strong presence in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

The Goethe Institut facilitated mobility for a number of cultural actors

through its Moving MENA travel fund (2013 2017). However, the fund is no

longer operational. The Goethe continues to organize occasional cultural

training programs in the region. Pro Helvetia has also supported projects

in Tunisia and Egypt.


Summary of Outcomes

Two programs funded by the European Union, MedCulture (2014 2017) and

SouthMedCV (2015 2018), played an important role in facilitating travels across

the region. Several respondents expressed the hope that similar schemes would be



Several private foundations are facilitating mobility across the region. In Tunisia,

Fondation Rambourg and Fondation Kamel Lazaar are two new foundations to

watch. In Morocco, Fondation HIBA and Fondation Touria et Abdelaziz Tazi have

supported mobility through sponsorship, residencies and exchange initiatives.

Other private foundations covering mobility, generally via program or project support,

are: the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), the Ford Foundation, Fondation

Rosa Luxembourg, Fondation Drosos, Mimeta, the Organisation Internationale de la

Francophonie (OIF), the Prince Claus Fund and Stichting DOEN.




Many artists depend on invitations from

festivals, events or residencies to support

their travels. Events that have offered

funding for mobility include Visa

for Music, Rencontres chorégraphiques

de Carthage, residencies at Le18, Atelier

de l’observatoire, Contemporary Image

Collective Cairo, D-CAF, etc. However,

they have generally done so via funding

from one of the abovementioned organizations.




Entrepreneurial cultural actors have approached banks, businesses

and individual sponsors for funds to cover their travel


Important resources on mobility opportunities in the region are:

1. On the Move’s Guide to funding for cultural mobility in

the Arab world (2017). On the Move’s Facebook, Twitter

and website are also critical platforms for information.

2. Culture Funding Watch has recently launched a comprehensive

database of funding opportunities for arts and

culture in the MENA Region. Their social media pages are

regularly updated.


Summary of Outcomes

3.1. 2



See Chapter 6

for a mapping of

venues and arts

spaces across

the region

The following organizations and arts spaces

are well-poised to serve as hubs, information

points, and training centres for mobility

projects in the region.


aria arts residencies, Algiers

Ateliers N.A.S., Algiers

Les Ateliers Sauvages, Algiers

Artissimo, Algiers

Box24, Algiers

La Baignoire, Algiers

Brokk’art, Algiers

Raconte’arts Theatre festival, Tizi Ouzou


Atelier de l’Observatoire, Casablanca

EAC-L’Boulvard, Casablanca

L’Uzine, Casablanca

Le18, Marrakech

Cinémathèque, Tanger

Tabadoul, Tanger

Mahal Art Space, Tanger

L’appartement22, Rabat

LeCube, Rabat

Visa for Music, Rabat


Al Moharek Agency, Cairo

AfriCairo, Cairo

Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo

Darb 1718 Contemporary Art & Culture Centre, Cairo

Hewar for Independent Theater & Performing Arts,


MASS, Alexandria

Out of the Circle, Cairo

Medrar for Contemporary Arts, Cairo

Reflection for Arts Training & Development,


Townhouse Gallery, Cairo


Ali Gana Foundation and Museum, Tripoli

Noon Arts Projects, Tripoli/London

Tanarout, Benghazi

WaraQ Art Foundation, Tripoli


ArtGalléAmySow, Nouakchott

Les Échos du Sahel, Nouakchott

Espace culturel Diadie Tabara Camara, Nouakchott

Maison des cinéastes, Nouakchott

Traversées Mauritanides, Nouakchott


BL79, Tunis

Centre des Musiques Arabes et

Méditerranéennes, Tunis

Centre national d’art vivant de Tunis

Cité’Ness Association, Tunis

Culture Funding Watch, Tunis (information

and training)

Fanni Raghman Ani, Tunis

La Boîte, Tunis

Lab619, Tunis

Lang’art, Tunis

L’Art Rue, Tunis

Maison de l’Image, Tunis

Théâtre Al-Hamra/Centre arabo-africain de

formation et de recherche théâtrales, Tunis

Tunisia Culture Network, Tunis

Western Sahara

Abidin Kaid Saleh Audiovisual School,

Boujdour refugee camp, Tindouf (Algeria)

Artifariti Festival, Tifariti, Sahrawi Arab Democratic

Republic/refugee camps in Tindouf

Fi’Sahara Festival, Boujdour refugee camp, Tindouf

Motif Arts Studio, Samara refugee camp, Tindouf


Summary of Outcomes

3.1. 3





Visa-free travel is in place between Morocco,

Tunisia and Algeria. In theory, Libyans should

benefit from visa-free travel to Algeria; however,

in practice, refusals have been documented.

Libyan citizens should also benefit from visa-free

access to Mauritania, although no testimonials

are available. In turn, visa-free access to Libya

is accessible only to Tunisian and Jordanian

citizens. Egypt’s visa policy has gotten increasingly

restrictive in recent years. At the time of

writing, visa-free access to Egypt was open to

Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian citizens under

the age of 14 only. Egyptians require a visa to

enter Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. Mauritania

offers visa-free travel to citizens of Algeria, Libya

and Tunisia. Mauritanians may travel to Tunisia

and Algeria without a visa.

Detailed information on visa policies with respect

to other African countries is provided in

the country-specific sections.


Tunisian citizens under the age of 35 must obtain

parental authorization to travel outside the

country. Moreover, exiting Tunisia requires payment

of an exit stamp, at a cost of 30 dinars.

Egyptian men of military service age may face

travel restrictions.


Road and/or rail travel is generally possible

within North African countries. However, border

crossings are complicated or made impossible

by ongoing border disputes or security concerns.

The Trans-Saharan Highway’s Route 1 connects

Cairo to Nouakchott, via the coast. However, only

selected segments of the route are practicable

due to conflict areas and border closures. The only

border crossing that is practicable is the border

between Tunisia and Algeria; some artists use

these roads to travel in lieu of expensive flights.


Summary of Outcomes

Overland travel into and out of Libya is not recommended

due to the presence of militias

along the road.

Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt also have

decent to good road networks connecting major

cities. Morocco boasts the region’s most developed

rail system, with high-speed rail in place

between Tangiers and Casablanca and plans to

extend the network east to Oujda and south to

Agadir via Marrakech. The national rail operator

is the ONCF. Algeria and Egypt also have rail

systems connecting major cities, namely along

the coast and the Nile river in Egypt.


Dancer Jenny Mezile performing at Harambee Days

at L’Uzine, 2018.

Photo: Ahlam Maroon/L’Uzine.

The closure of the Morocco Algeria border makes

road travel between the two countries impracticable.

Likewise, entry into Western Sahara via

road is subject to controls, which can be unpredictable,

especially in periods of strife.

Algeria’s road system includes the Trans-Saharan

Highway’s Route 2, which links Algiers to

Lagos via Tamanrasset, Agadez and Kano. The

highway is almost complete, with the exception

of a 200 km-long segment in the north of Niger.

Cairo is connected to Khartoum via road. However,

border crossing has been complicated due

to diplomatic disputes between Egypt and Sudan

and arms smuggling at the border.

Due to the above-described impediments to road

travel and the large distances between major

North African cities, air travel is the preferred

method of transportation. Flight connections

are frequent between capital cities, provided by

national air carriers Royal Air Maroc, AirAlgérie,

TunisAir and Egypt Air. The exception is Tripoli,

which is at present only connected to Tunis and

Cairo (although the latter is subject to change).

Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is emerging as the region’s

most active carrier, creating connections within

the region and the continent that used to only

be possible via European cities such as Paris

and Barcelona. In recent years, RAM has expanded

its network in Africa significantly, rivalling

Ethiopian Airlines as the continent’s number one

carrier. RAM currently connects Casablanca to

26 destinations in Africa. AirAlgérie and TunisAir

are also developing their connections in West

Africa, connecting with 9 and 11 destinations,



Summary of Outcomes

As such, connections between Alger / Tunis / Tripoli,

and destinations in West, Central, East and Southern

Africa generally go via Casablanca. EgyptAir has

connections with several East African countries,

as well as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia in

Southern Africa and Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire

in West Africa. Other destinations may be reached

via Addis Ababa.

Despite these developments, cost remains a major

impediment to air travel. Travel to Europe remains

less expensive than travel within the continent, even

on lines such as Tunis Alger.



Impediments to


Impediments to mobility

are listed below, grouped

into 11 main categories.

However, it should be noted that many of these

impediments are related and often difficult to

dissociate. For example, the lack of interest in

travelling to other African regions is critically

related to the lack of information-sharing and

networking. The difficulty of obtaining visas

is often compounded by high travel costs,

with one or the other discouraging artists or

cultural professionals from even seeking out

mobility opportunities. Visa issues are cited

most frequently in part because artists associate

travel with Europe and do not consider

travel opportunities in other countries where

they may have visa-free access.

« We need to talk about

non-mobility. We need to talk

about artists’ stagnation. And

we need to fight against that

stagnation. »

Mehdi Djelil

Visual artist, Algiers*

Moreover, most of these obstacles can be

linked to the after-effects of colonialism, nationalisms

and wars, and the persistence of

neo-colonialism in the form of development

agendas, regionalization, conflict, etc. This reality

underscores the importance of mobility as a

means of strengthening South-South solidarity,

understanding, co-imagining, vision-sharing,

knowledge-sharing and project-building.


Summary of Outcomes


« This immigration question, this

‘potential immigrant’

label we carry those loads

heavily. Travelling, in and of

itself (with or without an artistic

purpose), is not a right that is

given to us. To secure that right,

we have to undergo countless

administrative processes, we have

to lay ourselves bare, and without

any guarantee of success.

So much energy, so many

strategies, so much paperwork…

it’s exhausting after awhile. »

Hind Benali

Dancer and choreographer,

founder of Compagnie Fleur





Difficulties obtaining visas for travel were one of the two most

frequently cited obstacles to mobility for North African cultural

actors. The Schengen space has become increasingly difficult

to access for cultural actors from across the region due to the

migration crisis, post-9 / 11 security context and heightening

xenophobia. Young men describe themselves as personae

non-gratae in Europe. Cultural actors from older generations,

despite having made frequent travels to Europe in the past, are

also subject to visa refusals or severe time limitations for their

stays in Europe.

Visa issues also inhibit mobility within the North African region,

for example for cultural actors wishing to travel to Egypt and

Libyan artists wanting to travel outside Tunisia.

The following issues are most frequently cited with respect to visas:

Faced with these restrictions, artists and operators must often

rely on personal contacts within embassies or ministries to try to

expedite their applications. When applications are denied, they

must restructure projects: for example, many meetings happen

in Jordan because visa access is easier than for countries such

as Egypt.


Long wait times:

The motive given is usually “likelihood of non-return,”

often despite extensive proof of employment, means of

subsistence, family in the home country, etc. Many artists

feel visa refusal decisions are arbitrary and / or motivated

by poor organization and / or xenophobia. While refusals

especially affect young artists (and especially men), successful

and established artists have also been affected.

Respondents reported having to wait as long as 6 months

for an appointment at the consulate or embassy, especially

since many European countries ceased to process visa

applications through their embassies and externalized

visa services to agency TLScontact. Wait times may be

so long that applicants are given an appointment that

is after the event they planned to attend. Furthermore,

delivery of the visa may take several weeks, which also

jeopardizes artists’ ability to make commitments to events /

residencies / etc. and follow through on travel plans.


Summary of Outcomes

High costs :

Bureaucracy :

Prejudice and


against artists :

Age and gender :

Short duration of

stay granted :

Access to


Lack of


A Schengen visa currently costs 60 euros. Photocopies or

certified copies of documents may add additional costs, as

does travel to the embassy.

Visa applications can require applicants to submit large volumes

of paperwork, including proof of employment, bank

records, letters of authorization, paystubs, etc. These documents

can be difficult to obtain, especially for artists who

work as freelancers and/or work in disciplines that are not

recognized under local labour laws. Bureaucracy can also be

a major obstacle because of the sheer volume of documents

and/or the amount of detail required (one respondent reported

being asked to submit all paystubs since her very first job).

Moreover, none of these documents are a guarantee, since

several respondents reported having been denied access to a

country despite having submitted all the required paperwork.

Several respondents reported having been subjected to prejudice

and/or discriminatory treatment by visa and immigration

authorities on account of their professional status as artists.

Young men are reportedly the most likely to be denied visas,

due to xenophobic associations with delinquency and terrorism.

In the case of Schengen visas, respondents reported being

given as little as 2 days on their visa. The time granted usually

corresponds to the duration of the event, leaving no time for

artists to network, attend other events, or simply enjoy the

experience of travel, with all the inspiration, connections and

unexpected opportunities that it may bring. Moreover, since

multiple-entry visas are increasingly difficult to obtain, artists

must re-apply for every trip.

Artists and cultural operators living outside capitals or major

cities have to travel to the embassies to complete the visa

procedures, incurring extra costs for travel and accommodation,

forcing individuals to take days off work, etc.

Several respondents deplored the inconsistency between

European countries’ cultural and immigration policies, whereby

a discourse of openness to cultural exchange and an

increasing fashion of “spotlighting” North Africa are in conflict

with increasingly restrictive visa policies.


« If you’re an individual artist,

[travelling] is a huge amount of

stress and work, often for

no reason. Difficulties are built

into the process. Either it’s an

issue with a visa or time or

funding. There always seems to

be some sort of

panic with something. There

must be a better way. »

Nada Sabet

Theatre director and cofounder,

Noon Creative

Enterprise, Cairo


Summary of Outcomes



The high cost of travel was the other most-cited obstacle to

mobility, named by almost all respondents. Costs of international

flights are exorbitant on all intra-regional and intra-continental


Aggravating factors include:

a) Impossibility of road travel between most countries (see

Section 3.1.3 above).

b) Poor flight connections between cities. Until recently, most

travels between African cities had to go via Europe. The

situation is changing, especially with the development of

RAM’s and other local airlines’ networks and Casablanca’s

emergence as a travel hub. However, direct flight connections

remain few and far between, and costs remain high.


« That’s the life of an artist: we

want to make things happen,

but sometimes it’s money that

blocks everything, and other

times we have the plane

tickets but not the visas. »

Cyrine Gannoun

Theatre practitioner, Director of

the Centre Arabo-Africain de

Formation et de Recherche

Théâtrale, Tunis*


« That’s the whole paradox.

There are so many European cultural

institutes that do spotlights on the

Arab world; the Arab world has greater

and greater visibility in Europe; but at the

same time, the conditions to get

a visa are getting more and more

complicated. »

Amina Mourid

Cultural manager, co-founder of Think

Tanger/Atelier Kissaria,

Tangiers, Morocco*

c) Absence of funding organizations and/or insufficient

coverage of ancillary costs.

d) Ancillary costs of travel: the cost of mobility goes

beyond the flight ticket. Accommodation, insurance,

vaccines, visas, travel to embassies, etc.

(see Visas above) all add to the financial burden

associated with traveling.

e) Lack of knowledge of funding possibilities.

f) Artists’ precarity across the region makes self-funded

travel impossible.

g) Issues with currency and financial transactions

are present in many of the countries covered, including

limits on cash withdrawals (Libya, Morocco,

Tunisia); ineligibility for credit cards; restrictions

on currency exchange and frozen accounts (Libya).


Summary of Outcomes




When asked why they thought mobility is weak within

the region and especially with respect to other African

regions, most respondents noted that artists and cultural

operators associate mobility with travel to Europe.

Aggravating factors include:

a) Europe’s geographical proximity: some respondents

noted that Europe felt “closer” than

the rest of the African continent.


« Ever since the Barcelona process,

and all the other measures taken

to regionalize the Mediterranean,

to make it a geo-politico-cultural

space, artists have increasingly

wanted to travel North rather

than South. »

Malek Sebaï

Dancer and choreographer,

co-founder, Associations Danseurs

Citoyens and Hayyou’Raqs, Tunis*

b) Lower costs for travel to Europe make it

possible for independent cultural actors to

cover travel costs themselves in the absence

of mobility funding (although this avenue is

being jeopardized by visa restrictions).

c) Artists’ precarity and the precarity of the

arts sector underlie many aspirations to a

European career.

d) Regionalization of the Euro-Mediterranean space and separation

of “North Africaand “Sub-Saharan Africa,” namely through

funding agendas (see Introduction & Methodology, Key terms).

e) The relative weight traditionally held by bilateral cooperation

institutes in facilitating mobility projects.

f) More plentiful training opportunities in Europe and the associated


g) Misconceptions about everyday life in Sub-Saharan Africa: some

respondents noted that Sub-Saharan Africa is associated with

poor working conditions and uncomfortable accommodation, if

not war and disease, in the more extreme cases of misconception

and prejudice (see #4, Difficulty Identifying With African

Identity / Discrimination).

h) Misconceptions about the arts sector in Africa: some respondents

reported that artists and cultural operators in their

milieus believed that nothing happens in Africa in terms of arts

and culture.


Summary of Outcomes

i) Economic considerations: there is a sense that artists’

fees will be lower in Africa than Europe, if not nonexistent.

(On the other hand, many artists reported

that they would gladly play or perform for free if it

meant they got the chance to travel to another African






« North African artists often want to be connected with

Europe more than Africa. Many Egyptian artists will prefer

to have a screening in a small city in Europe than in an

African capital. »

Mohamed Ghazala

Professor, Vice President of the International Association

of Animation filmmakers (ASIFA),

Cairo / Jeddah

While most artists interviewed expressed strong motivation

to travel to other parts of Africa, many described an overall

climate of unease surrounding identification to Africa as a

possible factor explaining low mobility within the continent.

This difficulty can be described as a spectrum ranging from

uncertain identification to ambient racism (present in all

countries covered by the study). This climate nourishes

misconceptions with respect to travel in Africa and/or

motivates preference for travel to the West.

It should also be noted that some respondents noted a

sense of discrimination on the part of colleagues from West,

East, South or Central Africa. They said this discrimination

was expressed in several forms, including exclusion from

pan-African events; lack of overtures and invitations; and

explicit attributions of difference (e.g., “You’re not like us”).




Unless they have made a dedicated or

concerted effort to seek out opportunities in

the region or in other African regions, artists

and cultural operators tend to be unaware of

existing events, networks, residencies, etc.

Aggravating factors:

a) There is a lack of active and up-to-date

databases and platforms gathering and

disseminating information about opportunities

in Africa, including about funding.

b) Existing platforms (e.g., Culture Funding

Watch, Music in Africa, On the Move) are

not necessarily well-known.

c) There is a lack of opportunities for inperson

contact and networking.

d) Lack of professionalization means that

artists often do not have the intuition,

education or confidence to seek out


e) There are not enough professional cultural

operators who can assist artists with

research, connect them with information,

etc. There are also not enough training

opportunities for such operators.


Summary of Outcomes




The absence of a structural framework allowing for the professionalization

of artists and arts professions is a major factor undergirding poor mobility.

Its impact can be felt on several levels:

a) Artists are unequipped with the skills, knowledge or networks

to search for international opportunities and / or to complete

funding applications.

b) Cultural operators are unequipped with the skills, knowledge

or networks to search for international opportunities and/or to

complete funding applications and / or to support artists completing

funding applications.

c) Centres and facilities with the capacity to host and support

mobility projects may be lacking.

d) There is a lack of funds supporting mobility at the public, private

and civil society levels.



While Modern Standard Arabic is the official language across North African

countries, differences in regional spoken dialects and the presence

of different colonial languages pose communication barriers within the

region and outside. Respondents named the following issues:

a) Language barriers were cited as a source of intimidation, discouraging

some artists from pursuing international travel opportunities.

b) Low literacy in written French, English and / or Arabic was cited as

an impediment to completing funding application forms.

c) Language barriers can be especially relevant in disciplines such as

music and theatre, where understanding of lyrics or dialogue can

impact overall appreciation of a song or play.


« Sometimes the problem is not with

mobility funds but also with the

freedom of mobility or accessibility

to mobility. Egypt is a shrinking

political space, and artists working

with creative industries and creative

expression have this challenge

in terms of regime, for example

getting permissions to apply for

visas and permits to travel to many

countries. »

Abdelsamee Abdallah

Cultural activist and theatre




Summary of Outcomes

For the 2016 edition of Ségou Art in Mali, artists Wadi Mhiri and Houda Gorbel created “Containers for a

Continent,” a floating installation composed of calabashes unified by iron wire and set upon the Niger river.

In the artists’ words: “The union of the calabashes represents the dream of a unified Africa, without any

border, enriched by its civilizations and cultural mixture. It’s about a dream right to the doorstep, randomly

launched in the flow of the river as an invocation of the sky for a better tomorrow.”

Photos courtesy of Wadi Mhiri.


Summary of Outcomes


« We’re having all these revolutions, asking ourselves “who are we?”.

In Libya alone, the South is completely different from the North.

Among countries, we’re so unaware of each other. But I think the arts are

the way to connect. »

Najlaa El-Ageli

Architect, Founder of Noon Arts

Projects, Tripoli / London


Summary of Outcomes



Libya is the country most affected by security

concerns, with militias present across

the country and namely controlling airports.

Recent conflict in the country has isolated

cultural actors living there (namely through

border closures and closure of embassies)

and discourages international actors from

pursuing projects there.

Security concerns also affect potential travellers

to Egypt, especially from marginalized

identities, who are aware of increasing limitations

on freedom of expression, arbitrary

incarceration, etc.




In Egypt, restrictions on freedom of movement

are part of a broader mechanism designed to

limit freedom of expression and association.

Restrictions on freedom of movement have

also been noted in Morocco, Algeria and





Some respondents noted that weak mobility

in the region can be attributed to the idea that

the region is “searching for itself,” in the wake

of conflicts, revolutions and ongoing profound

transformations at the social, economic, and

political levels. One impact is that some artists

are focused on developing their careers and

scenes at a local level, addressing issues and

concerns rooted in their surroundings, and do

not prioritize international travel. However, it also

flows from this dispensation that the pursuit of

international opportunities can be undermined

by a difficulty positioning oneself and relating to

others in a constantly changing climate.




A number of respondents questioned the usefulness

of pursuing mobility projects today, given

the above-described limitations.

a) Respondents noted that mobility often seems

to have been drained of its human and creative

aspects and reduced to a purely quantitative

indicator, often in development and

cooperation schemes. Feeling the impact

of budgetary constraints and visa duration

restrictions, they note that attendance at

festivals and other events often feels more

draining than it is nourishing or inspiring.

b) Three respondents named the framework

of international cooperation as an impediment

to meaningful cultural exchange. The

terms of exchange being dictated by foreign

usually European institutions, artists

find their liberty of creation and move-ment

constrained by foreign agendas and budgets,

sometimes finding themselves held

up as ambassadors of successful cultural

diplomacy rather than as creators in their

own right.


Country-Specific Information



This study covers

Algeria, Egypt, Libya,

Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia

and Western Sahara.


Country-Specific Information






The following country-specific sections detail

the following information: 1) General information

on the country (geography, politics, history, relationship

with the rest of Africa); 2) an overview

of the arts and culture sector; 3) information on

mobility to/from the country (visa requirements,

transport, etc.); 4) information on funding for arts

mobility; 5) impediments to mobility to / from the



Country-Specific Information




« To understand the phenomenon

[Algeria’s isolation from Africa],

you need to look at the history.

Algiers was the Mecca of African

revolutionaries. After the ‘black

decade’ [the 1990s], Algeria took

some distance from Africa. Artists

became interested in what lay behind

the sea, which is to say Europe.

Europe’s cultural and economic might

allow it to decide on the direction

of mobility. »


Population 41.3 million (World Bank, 2017)

Walid Aidoud

Visual artist, founder of Box24,


Surface area


Large cities


2.382 million km²


Oran, Constantine, Annaba, Blida, Tizi Ozou

Modern Standard Arabic and Tamazight


Darija (vernacular Algerian Arabic)


Dialling code +213


Main international


Algerian dinar

Houari Boumediene International Airport,

Algiers Mohamed Boudiaf International Airport,

Constantine Es-Sénia International Airport,


Rail network

Société nationale des transports ferroviaires

(SNTF), 4500 km of railways

Visa requirements

for Africans to enter


Visa-free access for nationals of Maghreb

countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania),

Mali and the Seychelles

Visa required for all other nationalities

African countries’

visa requirements for

Algerian nationals

Visa-free travel: Maghreb countries, Mali,

Guinea and Benin

E-visa or visa upon arrival: Angola, Cabo-

Verde, the Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti,

Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya,

Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda,

São Tomé and Principe, Somalia, Tanzania,

Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Visa required for all other African countries


Country-Specific Information


Algeria is the largest country in Africa and shares

a border with all the countries of North Africa,

with the exception of Egypt. To its North lies the

Mediterranean Sea, while the Sahara desert covers

a wide swathe of the South of the country.

Algeria’s first peoples are the Amazighen.

Ancient Algeria was occupied consecutively by

the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians and the Romans

before the Arab invasions of the 8th 11th

centuries AD. The Ottoman Empire occupied

coastal Algeria between 1518 and 1830. In 1830,

France annexed Algeria, beginning a lengthy and

violent process of colonization. Algeria was administered

as a département of France between

1848 and Independence in 1962. The latter was

won through a complex and brutal war, with

torture and massacres deployed by the French

against the Algerian resistance. Over the years

of colonial presence, the French implemented

a thorough acculturation policy. Resistance to

this policy has defined the foundations of modern-day

Algerian identity: Islamic, Arabic and

Amazigh (Boukrouh and Kessab, 2010). Today,

French has no official status but is widely spoken

and used in government, media and educational

institutions, a legacy of Algeria’s colonial history.

Affiliation to Africa was enshrined in the

constitution of 1963, a reflection of Algeria’s

commitment to and centrality within decolonization

movements across the continent. Dubbed

the “Mecca of revolution” by Amilcar Cabral,

Algiers was a place of meeting for African resistance

leaders and political exiles in the 1960s

and 1970s. The Pan-African festival of 1969

was held in Algiers, and the city was a seat for

essential intellectual and political movements

such as pan-Africanism, pan-Arabism and the

non-Aligned movement.

Algeria’s connections with the continent

have been marred by its recent history

of authoritarianism and conflict. In the 1990s,

Algeria was engulfed in what is typically called

la décennie noire (the black decade), a period

of violence and terrorism opposing the Algerian

government and various Islamist rebel groups.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika was elected in 1999 and

remained in power until his resignation on April

2, 2019. Diplomatic or economic relations with

the African continent have not been a priority for

the Algerian government, although there have

been gestures toward investment in Africa in

recent years.

While widespread protests did erupt in

Algeria in 2011, full-scale revolution did not take

place. However, on February 22, 2019, hundreds

of thousands of Algerians took to the streets in

what was described as a spontaneous wave

of contestation in response to Bouteflika announcing

his candidacy for a 5th consecutive

mandate. Demonstrations have continued since

Bouteflika’s resignation, as Algerians call for the

ruling elite to step down and gather around the

ideals of social justice, equitable distribution of

wealth, dignity, popular sovereignty, egalitarian

republicanism, anti-imperialism and principled

politics, among others (Rouabah, 2019). This

massive swell of popular dissent is underway at

the time of writing, with magnificent displays of

solidarity, hope, humour and imagination radiating

from Algerian streets to the world.


Algeria’s cultural sector has been marked by

strong centralization and monopolization of

cultural affairs by the Ministry of Culture. The

Ministry has enjoyed a considerable budget, with

the windfall from oil and gas revenue making it

possible fo the Ministry’s budget to swell to $314

million in 2014, the largest in Africa (Kessab,

2015). This budget is reported to have collapsed

in recent years with the fall of oil and gas prices

and liquidation of Algeria’s reserves.

Administration of the Ministry of Culture’s

budget has been characterized by tight regulation,

opaque financing, poor management, clientelism

and a strong emphasis on funding for major

institutions and large-scale cultural activities

such as festivals. These in turn have promoted

a vision of Algerian culture that can broadly be









Country-Specific Information

described as folkloric. Public institutions and

facilities inherited from the colonial period have

in large part deteriorated and few new ones have

been built. Moreover, infrastructures for culture

are strongly centralized in Algiers, with financing

for rural areas dependent largely on personal

connections. Algeria has not yet ratified the 2005

UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion

of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

(Kessab, 2015).

According to MedCulture’s 2015 report,

cultural and artistic associations received only

0.2% of the annual budget for culture (Kessab,

2015). Associations have been subject to tight

and confusing legislation that limits the freedom

to associate, operate and receive funding (see

Impediments below). According to Freedom

House (2018), “Algeria is one of the most difficult

environments in the world to establish and operate

a business.” There is a very limited culture

of sponsorship and patronage.

Despite the restrictions on its existence,

the independent cultural sector is flourishing and

affirming its presence with verve and energy. The

visual arts have been particularly active, with a

number of independent spaces and initiatives

burgeoning in the last ten years. Censorship,

lack of facilities and financing have muzzled the

performing arts, but artists have stayed active and

are expressing themselves in today’s waves of

popular demonstration. There is a strong awareness

and hope that the future of the country can

be written by Algeria’s creatives.


Algeria’s creative sector has been marked by

isolation, largely a factor of the political unrest in

the 1990s, lack of structuring (described above)

and lack of state support for international exchange.

Algeria is very weakly represented in

AMA’s statistics, with a total of 20 applications

from Algeria and 8 for projects taking place in

the country since 2005.









« What’s amazing [about this moment,]

is that the independent cultural scene is

taking up space and gaining in credibility

with the public with small initiatives here

and there. If we can structure our work in

such a way that it’s sustainable, we’ll easily

succeed in taking the lead over the state

institutions. People have expressed their

need for freedom and hope. That gives

us space to act. It’s now possible for us

to channel this energy and to offer

something other than the violence we’ve

always known. »

Myriam Amroun

Cultural project manager, Algiers*

More generally speaking, international

travel to / from Algeria is a factor of the large size

of the territory, expensive air connections and

a fairly restrictive visa policy. Most international

travel continues to be with Europe, dominated

by France in light of the ties connecting the two

countries: the large Algerian population in France,

continued presence of French institutions in

Algeria, and the relatively low cost of travel.

Faced with these limitations but also

compelled to discover and appropriate their

own country, a number of artists have been purposefully

seeking to develop mobility projects

within Algeria. The size of the country alone

makes travel from North to South a potential

adventure. Moreover, the diversity of cultures

within the country has been a subject of interest,

even opening up curiosity and desire to travel

further afield to Africa. In the words of musician

Sadek Bouzinou (of Democratoz): “Algeria is a



Country-Specific Information

The strongest trends of international

exchange are with neighbouring Morocco and

Tunisia. These trends are due to freedom of

movement within the Greater Maghreb and historic

cultural and linguistic ties, which facilitate

information-sharing and networking. Road travel

is possible between Algeria and Tunisia but

not between Morocco and Algeria, the border

remaining closed after decades of conflict over

the issue of Western Sahara. Many interviewees

have expressed frustration at this limitation,

which forces artists to travel by air (at a greater

financial cost) and, on a deeper level, can restrict

their capacity to envision common projects.

Today, travel to other African regions goes

mainly via Casablanca. Until the RAM began

expanding its network, travel was necessarily

via Paris. AirAlgérie has been developing its

network, with new lines created to several West

African destinations. Anecdotal reports suggest

that AirAlgérie would like to rival RAM as a carrier

towards the continent, in line with Algeria’s shift

towards encouraging tourism and stimulating

connections with Africa.

Desire to create international bridges is

very strong. In the visual arts, it is nourished in

large measure by the visibility and prestige of

major international events such as the Biennale

de Dakar (mentioned by almost all respondents).

In music, a number of groups such as Ifrikya

and Democratoz have foregrounded the African

musical roots of Algeria, creating popular consciousness

of an African identity and a strong

desire to develop greater exchange.









« Since the borders are closed on almost

all sides, except with Tunisia, a link has

formed between North Algeria and the South.

Algerians from the North have started to

discover the South and in so doing, Africa. »

Houari Bouchenak

Photographer, Collectif 220,

Algiers / Tlemcen*


Country-Specific Information





Examples of mobility projects

Organized by Nomad Tracks, an Algerian multidisciplinary

collective, ChedMed was a meeting of

Algerian and Senegalese artists in Dakar in 2017.

It was the second stop in a long-term project

aiming to revive the idea of the “Tricontinental”

South-South organization. A group of Algerian

artists were invited to Dakar to build and paint

a house together in Dakar’s medina. Concerts

were hosted and photographers documented the

process. The next edition is in Vietnam.

Lead singer Sadek Bouzinou has been creating

songs inspired by pan-Africanism and anti-racism

movements, mixing raï, reggae, gnawa and other

musical genres. He currently lives in Dakar.

A new digital arts festival organized by visual artist

Mouna Bennamani and photographer Mahmoud

Agraine that will connect Algerian creatives with

artists from North Africa, Africa and beyond. It

will be the first of its kind in the country.

The country’s only fully independent theatre

festival, it has regularly invited artists from West

and Central Africa to perform in the remote villages

where it is held every year.










A collective of photographers, visual artists, writers

and graphic designers travelled from Algiers

to the south of Algeria in a van, exploring the

Algerian stretch of the TransSaharan highway

that was designed to link Algiers to Lagos, via

Agadez in Niger. They have future plans to explore

Ottoman trade routes between Salé (Morocco)

and Algiers, and potentially to continue the road

trip down to Lagos.

Slam poet Meriem Bouraoui travelled to

N’Djamena, Tchad, in November 2018, to represent

Algeria in the African Cup of Slam Poetry.

Her trip was supported by AMA.


« For the most part, [Algerians]

only know Africa through

Western music. But as artists,

we can really build a vision.

Music isn’t everything but

it can do a lot. […] I’m here [in

Dakar] to learn. I want to show

Algerians the positivity

of Senegal. »

Sadek Bouzinou

Singer/songwriter, Democratoz,



Country-Specific Information

Algerian artist El’Moustach showing his works at Casalgéria

exhibition at L’Uzine, 2018. Photo: Ahlam Maroon/L’Uzine









Country-Specific Information









Public administrations

While the Ministry of Culture has enjoyed a sizeable

budget since the 2000s, these funds scarcely benefit

independent cultural actors wishing to pursue mobility

projects. While applications can be submitted

directly to the Ministry, there is no formal

program and procedures involve heavy


Mobility funds have been granted via a

semi-private agency called the Agence

Algérienne pour le Rayonnement Culturel

(AARC), designed to promote Algerian

culture internationally. It acts primarily

on a sponsorship basis, selecting artists

and financing their participation at international

events. They may be solicited

directly but interviewees report that it

is exceedingly rare for them to grant

an application as their funding primarily

goes towards the same groups.

« The Ministry of Culture

has been out of service

since 1988. »

Myriam Amroun

Cultural project manager,


Annaba, Constantine, Oran, Tlemcen and Tizi

Ozou. The Instituto Cervantes, British Council,

Istituto Italiano, Goethe Institut and EU Delegation

are also present in Algiers.

Non-governmental organizations

Local NGOs do not have the capacity to finance

mobility projects. Foreign NGOs are very little

known and funding is complicated due to restrictions

on international transfers into Algerian

bank accounts (see Lack of funding below).

Banks and large companies

Two interviewees reported that they had

been able to travel thanks to sponsorship

from banks and private donors. However,

they noted that such opportunities are becoming

more and more limited due to the

general climate of austerity.


« The AARC is run as an executive body of the ‘spare wheel’ ministry,

which practices clientelism, among other things, in a sector that is eager for

openness and facilitation for its actors. They approach the parties they

want without any public transparency, neither about their modes of

operation nor their services. They maintain opaque and visionless public and

institutional relations. One of their declared missions is to spread

Algerian culture elsewhere - of course, this only applies to artists who align

with the official cultural regime in place. »

Malik Chaoui

Co-project manager, Working Group

on Cultural Policy in Algeria,


Bilateral cooperation

Several artists reported that they have had greater

facility obtaining mobility possibilities via international

cooperation institutes. The Institut Français

is by far the most active, with branches in Algiers,


« Algeria is a very closed

country; we often have to

fall back on big Algerian

companies, cultural

institutes and embassies to

fund our projects.»

Arslan Naili

Visual artist,

Founder of Atelier N.A.S.,



Country-Specific Information



Mobility to and from Algeria is complicated by

the following factors:

Lack of funding options

· The Ministry of Culture has not supported

independent arts practitioners.

· NGOs must submit detailed reports of funding

and gain government approval before

accepting foreign funding (risking fines or

imprisonment). This greatly limits funding possibilities

for independent artists. Funds must be

obtained through circuitous means involving

friends or partners abroad, or through timeconsuming

and potentially fruitless bureaucratic


Administratively, it’s extremely complicated to

receive money. It’s impossible to buy other currencies.

If it’s a private individual who sends me

money, it goes through. But if it’s an organization

like a publishing house or an association it goes

through, but only in Algerian dinars, which involves

a loss of more than 50% of the original sum.

Ammar Bourras, photographer, Algiers*

· Moreover, the climate of austerity has limited

funding possibilities from private sponsors in


Politics of isolationism

· Algeria has maintained fairly limited foreign

relations, with considerable impact on the arts

sector. Several respondents noted that Algeria

has failed to invest in the link between culture

and tourism, for instance, in contrast with its

neighbour Morocco.

It’s a link that’s just terrible between Algeria

and other nations. We know there are [physical]

borders, but it seems there are many others

that are invisible but very present, and that

make it impossible for us to connect to Africa.

Houari Bouchenak, photographer, Collectif 220,

Algiers / Tlemcen*

· In return, one respondent noted weak willingness

on the part of the international community

to reach out and create bridges with Algeria.

There is no will to reach out to Algeria and understand

what is going on, how can Algeria be

supported. Malik Chaoui, co-project manager,

Groupe de travail sur la politique culturelle en

Algérie, Algiers*


· Several respondents expressed regret and

frustration at the difficulty of building bridges

with their Moroccan neighbours, due to ongoing

territorial disputes between the two states

which have maintained the border closed and

thus limited connections.

[In terms of traveling], one of the difficulties we

face is with Algeria: it’s absurd and anecdotal.

We know about a lot of projects in Algeria but

we can’t find a way to create collaborations

between the two countries. The fact that the

border is closed complicates things, and flights

are quite expensive. It’s cheaper to go to Berlin

or Amsterdam than to Algiers. Amina Mourid,

cultural operator, Co-founder, Atelier Kissaria &

Think Tanger*

Restrictions on civil society, censorship

· Freedom of association has been limited in

Algeria and artistic activity has been closely

monitored. Freedom House rates Algeria as

“not free.”

Algiers is very conservative. There’s a mini-scene,

but it’s not like Tunis. In Algeria, it’s more people

with lots of money who are opening venues. It’s

very small, very local. At the level of the Algerian

authorities, it’s not easy. Hamdi Ryder, DJ,

Downtown Vibes collective, Tunis*

· Restrictions on freedom of movement have

been used as a form of censorship.

Cultural operators are closely monitored. Every

time we’ve prepared to participate in an event,

we’ve had lots of trouble at the airport. I have

friends who haven’t been able to leave. They [the

authorities] tell you “please wait,” and then they

purposefully make you miss your flight. Myriam

Amroun, cultural project manager, Algiers*
















· Algerian authorities have been known to apply

visa restrictions arbitrarily, even to countries

with which freedom of movement purportedly


· Access to Egypt has been particularly difficult

for Algerian cultural actors.

Lack of training

Educational institutions exist for artistic training,

but there are no opportunities for cultural

managers to receive training in Algeria.

The notion of cultural industries remains

embryonic here. Zafira Ouartsi, founder and

director, Artissimo, Algiers*

Culture of nepotism and individualism

· Several respondents noted that the climate

of poor / absent funding, lack of training and

isolationism has created a culture of nepotism

and individualism.

· On the one hand, a select number of groups

and individuals who have managed to break

into international markets have monopolized

all opportunities.

There are groups that have toured everywhere,

that have used every fund, that have been to

every music market. And then there are some

that never move. There’s a category that has

priority; it’s the ones who match the authorities’

agendas. Samy Abdelguerfi, booker, cultural

policy researcher, Groupe de travail sur la politique

culturelle en Algérie, Algiers / Paris*

· On the other hand, those who have not yet had

access to opportunities have had to compete,

creating a climate of individualism.

In Algiers, it can get very individualistic. Everyone

is trying to break the other person’s career. There

are so few of us, and yet we’ve been shooting

each other in the feet instead of helping one

another. Samy Abdelguerfi*


Country-Specific Information


· Racism has been exacerbated in recent years

due to the migration crisis.

· Algeria has taken a tough stand, adopting a

security-based approach, criminalizing migration

in 2008 and signing agreements with Niger

to deport migrants at the border.

· Algeria continues to be an important destination

for scholarship holders from Sub-Saharan

African countries, but they face discrimination.

It’s the lack of knowledge of Sub-Saharan Africa

that creates racism toward students. It depends

on the cities ; in some, students have an easier

time integrating. Houari Bouchenak, photographer,

Collectif 220, Algiers / Tlemcen*


« It’s the lack of knowledge of Sub-Saharan

Africa that creates racism toward students.

It depends on the cities; in some, students

have an easier time integrating. »

Houari Bouchenak

Photographer, Collectif 220,



« Recently we made an

anti-racism video. There was an incident in

2017 ; everyone was manipulated.

A Sub-Saharan man attacked a woman.

Everyone came out to say that migrants

should stay in their home countries.

I got a group of young people together.

I’m the first to mobilize people I was saying

“you’re against Africans, but

WE are Africans!”. »

Sadek Bouzinou

Singer /songwriter, Democratoz,

Oran / Dakar*

Watch the video for

“Atini Yedak” here


Country-Specific Information




« People in Egypt are trying to look North.

Perhaps they look to Tunisia and

Morocco. They don’t know about African

culture. The media give us American

movies, European movies.

We have connections in Tunisia and

Morocco. The language barrier is not a big

deal many families are connected.

We know them and they know us as well. »

Ahmed Eldeeb

Co-founder, Director, Reflection for

Arts Training & Development,



Population 94.8 million (World Bank, 2017)

Surface area


Large cities


2.382 million km²


Alexandria, Giza, Shubra El-Kheima,

Port Said, Suez, Luxor

Modern Standard Arabic (official)

Egyptian Arabic or Masri (vernacular)

English; Sa’idi Arabic; Bedouin Arabic;

Nubian languages; Berber languages

Dialling code +20


Main international


Rail network

Visa requirements for

Africans to enter Egypt

African countries’

visa requirements for

Egyptian nationals

Egyptian pound

Cairo International Airport

Alexandria Borg El Arab Airport

Egyptian National Railways (ENR),

5,083 km network

Visa on arrival for nationals of South Sudan

Visas are required for citizens of all North

African countries above the age of 14

Visas required for all other nationalities

Visa on arrival: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo

Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Ghana, Guinea,

Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Madagascar,

Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda,

Senegal, Seychelles


Spanning the northeast corner of Africa and

the southwest corner of Asia, Egypt is located

at the nexus of two continents. It is the most

populous country in North Africa and the Arab

world. Egypt’s economy is one of the largest in

the Middle East and is third only to Nigeria and

South Africa in Africa in terms of GDP (IMF, 2018).

The country is a founding member of the Arab

League, the African Union, the United Nations

and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Egypt’s position at the crossroads of

continents, bodies of water and civilizations

has shaped its cultural history. Greek, Roman,

Ottoman, Persian influences have layered its

cultural heritage; Jewish, Christian and Baha’í

religions have all left their imprint as well, in addition

to the dominant Islamic faith established

after the Arab invasions. Nubians and Coptic

Christians remain important minorities today.

Egypt was a British colony from 1882 to 1922, the

only British possession in North Africa.

Full independence came with the revolution

in 1952 and the declaration of the

republic in 1953. Its 20th-century political

history has been marked by instability and

conflict, with successive armed conflicts

with Israel between 1948 and 1973 and

the spread of terrorism in the 1980s, 90s

and 2000s.

Egypt has always been at the

heart of debates on African identity and

history. In 1955, Senegalese historian and

anthropologist Cheikh Ana Diop published

the seminal and highly polemical Nations

nègres et culture, in which he argued that

Egyptian and African civilizations and

cultures should be traced back to a common

“cradle.” Gamal Abdiel Nasser was a

committed supporter of African liberation

movements and is widely recognized as

a major figure of pan-Africanism. Since

the 1970s, Egyptian foreign and cultural

policy have been geared towards the Middle

East and Europe, although overtures







« I’m from Egypt

but I want to speak

to the African soul.

I’m so proud to be an

African. I think I will

never end this project.

I’m archiving Africa

through sound and

music. Every time I

start a country, I feel

it’s endless. »

Yara Mekawei

Sound and video artist,

founder of Radio




Country-Specific Information

have been made in recent years, centering in

particular on negotiations over shares of the

Nile river.

Egypt is one of the Arab countries in

which the 2011 uprisings gave way to full-scale

revolution. Eighteen days after protests erupted

on January 25, 2011, then-president Hosni

Mubarak who had held power since 1981 resigned.

However, the years since the revolution

have been marked by heavy instability and a

return to authoritarianism since Abdel Fattah

Sisi’s coup in July 2013. Freedom House rates

Egypt as “not free,” signalling persecution of activists,

parties and political movements, pervasive

corruption, unfair elections, military incursion into

political affairs and discrimination against women,

Christians, Shiite Muslims, Nubians and darkskinned

Egyptians, and LGBTQ communities.


Egypt has historically had a rich and

well-connected arts sector, bolstered by

a strong, well-structured civil society,

a strong media sector and a huge film

and music industry. The cultural sector

is strongly concentrated in Cairo and to

a lesser extent in Alexandria (Fazeulaa,


There is no clear state monopoly on

culture today, although censorship and

surveillance of cultural actors are major

problems. State budgets have not invested

significant budgets into culture nor has

the government demonstrated the will

to implement an efficient cultural policy.

This dispensation has left space for the

private sector and civil society to flourish.

In 2018, it was estimated that there were

143 cultural organizations in the country

(Fazeulaa, 2018). These are working to fill

the gap left by insufficient cultural policy

and working creatively to survive despite

adverse legal frameworks.


Country-Specific Information

In the absence of well-maintained government

facilities, private organizations have set

up arts spaces in Cairo and Alexandria. The two

cities are home to a large number of galleries and

multidisciplinary arts spaces as well, of which

the Townhouse Gallery, Darb 1718, Medrar and

Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) are some

of the best-known on international circuits in

Cairo, and Al-Madina and MASS are some of

the best-known in Alexandria.


Despite Egypt’s positioning at the crossroads of

geopolitical and cultural areas, mobility patterns

to / from the country are not equally distributed.

Most respondents agreed that arts mobility continues

to have Europe as a centre of gravity.

However, as in other North African countries,

this situation is changing due to visa restrictions

enforced on Egyptian nationals.

Cultural actors are more likely to travel to

Middle Eastern destinations than North African

ones, due to geographic proximity and historical

ties that have connected Cairo and Alexandria

more closely with Beirut and Amman than Tunis

and Casablanca. Most cultural actors who have

had international travel experience have been to

Beirut and Amman, as Lebanon and Jordan have

easy visa regulations for Egyptians and are also

important seats of cultural activity.

In North Africa, exchange is most active with

Morocco and Tunisia. Both countries are associated

with lively cultural scenes and political

stability. Only two respondents mentioned

attendance at an event in Algeria and only one

mentioned a cultural project in Libya.

Exchange with other African regions is

fairly weak in contrast with the volume of exchange

with Europe, the Middle East and North

Africa. Most respondents stated that Sub-Saharan

Africa simply is not on the radar. For artists who

have pursued connections to the South, the most

active channels are those that connect Egypt to

South Africa, Ethiopia, as well as hubs in West







« There are big gaps between the

communities. I always talk about this;

the problem is the media. There is no

news show or program talking about

African issues in Egypt. We’re trying

to get people interested, to close this gap.

Most of these communities stay

together because they’re afraid; they

don't feel involved in Egyptian society.

I say let’s meet through music. It’s a

place where we can come together. »

Ahmed Omar,

Bassist and founder of AfriCairo,


Africa, most prominently Dakar and Lagos. According

to AMA’s statistics, Egypt has had the

most exchange with South Africa and Ethiopia

(10 applications each), followed by Nigeria and

Cameroon (8) and lastly by Kenya (7). These

connections can likely be explained in terms of

cultural and linguistic ties inherited from colonial

times, as well as geographic proximity and availability

of flight connections in the case of East


A number of initiatives have nevertheless

been promoting African arts and culture in

Cairo and Alexandria, especially through music.

Makan Egyptian Center for Culture and Arts

has been working to promote Egypt’s traditional

musical heritage, offering a platform in particular

for Sudanese and Nubian communities. On the

side of contemporary music, AfriCairo is offering

a venue for African musicians living in Cairo to

meet and perform, with a small recording studio

and a performance / jam space. The independent

Luxor African Film Festival is also an important

event on the annual arts calendar, with year-round

training initiatives and programmes to support

the production and promotion of African cinema.


Country-Specific Information










Examples of mobility projects:

Sound and video artist Yara Mekawei attended

the Lagos and Dakar biennales. She has since

founded a pan-African radio station named

Radio Submarine, which broadcasts one hour of

sound art and alternative music (historical and

contemporary) from a different African country

every week.

Digital artist Elham Kattab has been collaborating

with curators across North Africa on a new

platform named Digi-MENA. The first phase was a

mapping research of digital artists in the region,

produced in collaboration with Moroccan curator

Nouha Ben Yebdri and Algerian curator Taoufiq

Douib. She is also co-organizing a Digital Arts

Festival with Douib, which is set to take place

in Algeria later this year.

The Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo is

part of the Centres of Learning for Photography

in Africa Network, which links organizations

across the continent to develop critical thinking

on photography. They have met in different

countries across the continent, including Uganda,

South Africa, Lesotho, Rwanda and RDC.


Egypt’s visa policy is one of the most restrictive

in the region. Visas are required for citizens of

all North African countries above the age of 14,

with the exception of Libyan women who may

enter visa-free. Nationals of all African countries,

with the exception of South Sudan, must apply

for a visa.

Egypt has good flight connections to

North Africa via EgyptAir as well as AirAlgérie,

Tunisair and Royal Air Maroc, which all fly

to Cairo. Egyptair has developed its connections

southward, with connections to several

East African countries, as well as South Africa,

Zimbabwe and Zambia in Southern Africa and

Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa.

Other destinations may be reached via Addis


Playwright and theatre director Laila Soliman

has been pursuing projects in Senegal and South

Africa. In 2017, she attended a residency at

RAW Material Company in Dakar and in 2018,

directed a theatre production titled “Museum

of Lungs,” featuring South African composer/

multi-instrumentalist Neo Muyanga and writer/

performer Stacy Hardy.


Country-Specific Information



Public administrations

There is a serious lack of transparency regarding

the national budget for culture and

allowances for cultural actors. However, two

respondents stated that they were aware

of funds available through the Ministry and

that they had successfully obtained grants

from the Ministry of Culture’s international

relations office.

Civil society organizations

Egyptian artists and cultural operators seem

to be the best informed about funding opportunities

provided by international civil society

organizations. Al-Mawred al-Thaqafy and

AFAC are very well-known amongst cultural

actors, likely a result of proximity to Beirut

and the fact that al-Mawred’s headquarters

were in Cairo until 2015. Mophradat and the

Roberto Cimetta Fund are also well-known.

However, no respondents mentioned Africa

Art Lines.

« The Ministry of Culture is not

transparent at all about how their funding

works you can go to them with the

paperwork but you could wait indefinitely.

It’s always a mystery as to why they

respond to one application but not the

others. There’s no clarity in the process

and it keeps changing. It’s a very tedious

process; an application has to go through

45 offices and everything can stop if

one person isn’t at their desk. »

Nada Sabet

Theatre director and

co-founder, Noon Creative Enterprise






International cooperation institutes

Unlike in Maghreb countries, where the Institut

Français is by far the most present, in Egypt

the most well-known cultural institutes are the

Goethe Institut and Pro Helvetia. The Goethe

Institut’s regional bureau is in Cairo. While they

do not have a formal mobility program, they

have supported a large number of artists via

the Moving MENA program (since phased

out) and have thus emerged as a reference

for a large number of artists. Pro Helvetia was

also repeatedly cited as a reliable source of

funding. The British Council and the Dutch

Embassy are also known to cultural operators

and artists as possible sources of funding.

Private foundations

Several respondents deplored that the Ford

Foundation is no longer providing direct support

for initiatives in Egypt. However, two

noted that the Drosos Foundation is filling

the space left by Ford.


Country-Specific Information


Repression of civil society organizations

· NGOs in Egypt have been facing increasing

harassment, censorship, raids and persecution.

They are being required to navigate increasingly

complex bureaucratic mechanisms, with

permissions required for nearly all activities.

We don’t use state theatre or big theatres because

we have issues with censorship. We don’t

want any of our works to be censored. We try to

work with cultural institutes to avoid censorship.

Adel Abdelwahab, Artistic director, Hewar for Independent

Theater & Performing Arts, Alexandria

· The most relevant laws, in terms of mobility,

are those that require CSOs to apply for permission

to host foreign artists.

For example, if a Moroccan artist wants to come

to Reflection Arts, I have to get a permission

for him to work with me. If there are any fees,

income from a performance, etc., I have to get

a permit. If we do the project and I’m still waiting

for permission, I also have to get another

permit to send money abroad. Ahmed Eldeeb,

Co-founder Director, Reflection for Arts Training

& Development, Alexandria

· Because laws are often passed fast and in

secrecy, cultural operators and artists can

easily be caught in legal traps.

Restrictions on receiving foreign funding

· The regulations on receiving foreign funds are

placing particularly tight constraints on artists’

mobility. According to Freedom House, “all

NGO funding and basic management decisions

are also subject to regulators’ approval.” Artists

report that this process can be extremely


We have to report every step that we take and every

grant that we get. The last one we got was from

SouthMed CV, but we didn’t get it immediately,

because we needed permission from the

authorities. We applied for the permission in

January 2017 and waited until October. The

whole time we were managing our relationship






with SouthMed CV. They asked us “what is your

action plan?”. We said, “don’t worry”. We only

got the permission and the grant in the last 3

months. We didn’t have the chance to use the

funds wisely, as we had planned earlier. Ahmed

Eldeeb, Co-founder and director, Reflection for

Arts Training & Development, Alexandria

· Faced with this situation, funds are ceasing

operations in Egypt, leaving artists in an even

tighter spot.

Visa restrictions

· Entry to Egypt has gotten increasingly difficult

in recent years, with lengthy application

processes at embassies abroad and arbitrary


· Several respondents noted particular difficulty

for Tunisians to enter Egypt (corroborated by

respondents in Tunisia see Tunisia section)

Egyptian embassies abroad are hard to deal

with when it comes to asking for visas for Arab

citizens. Tunisians and Moroccans have such

a hard time getting into Egypt they get many

rejections. Basem Abuarab, Executive director,

Al Moharek Booking Agency for Independent

Arabic Music, Cairo

· Moreover, Egyptians themselves must obtain

permissions to travel to certain countries and/

or security clearance at the Cairo airport.

Travel restrictions for men and women

· Young men from the military service age need

to get permission from military in order to travel.

· Women need to get a permission/confirmation

from their families that they are travelling to

certain countries.

Ambivalent identification with Africa /


· Many respondents noted that Egyptians do

not identify as Africans, noting in particular

Egypt’s unique geographic positioning and

greater identification to the MENA region

· Racism is also extremely prevalent in Egypt,

targeting in particular the Nubian and Sudanese

communities as well as African migrants.

Nubian resistance movements are frequently

met with violence and repression.


Country-Specific Information

Di Egy Festival 2017 opening at Darb1718.

Photo courtesy of Elham Kattab / Di Egy Festival


Country-Specific Information

4. 3



« Most Libyans identify as Arabs.

But Libya is a mixed country of

Tamazight, Tabu, Tuareg and Arabs.

When people from North African

countries talk about people from the

South, they say “Africans”. »

Tewa Barnosa

Visual artist and founder of WaraQ

Art Foundation,

Tripoli / Berlin


Population 6.375 million (World Bank, 2017)

Surface area


Large cities


1.76 million km²


Benghazi, Misrata, Zliten, Bayda

Modern Standard Arabic (official)

Libyan Arabic (vernacular)


Dialling code +218


Main international


Visa requirements for

Africans to enter Libya

African countries’ visa

requirements for Libya


Libyan dinar

Mitiga International Airport (Tripoli)

Benina Intenrational Airport (Benghazi)

Misrata International Airport

Visa-free access for nationals of

Tunisia and Jordan

Visa required for all other nationalities

Visa-free access: Algeria, Mauritania,

Tunisia, Benin

e-Visa: Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau,

Lesotho, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia,


Visa on arrival: Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde,

Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Senegal,

Somalia, Togo


Country-Specific Information


Libya is the fourth-largest country in Africa and

is among the 20 largest in the world. Spanning

1.770 km, its coastline is the longest of any of

the Mediterranean countries. The largest city and

capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya, while

the second-largest city, Benghazi, is located in

eastern Libya. Ninety percent of Libya’s population

lives along its coast.

What present-day Libya is has been inhabited

by Amazigh tribes since the late Bronze

Age. Libya was occupied by the Phoenicians,

Greeks, Persians, Egyptians and Romans before

the Islamic conquests. In the 20th century, Libya

was under Italian rule between 1911 and 1947.

Cinemas, theatres, libraries and cultural centres

were built. The country declared its independence

in 1951. Eight years later, the discovery of

massive oil reserves transformed the until-then

poor nation. In 1959, a group of rebel officers

led by Muammar Gaddafi overthrew the

government and established the Libyan Arab

Republic, embracing the principles of Arab

socialism. This coup-d’état was the beginning

of a 42-year dictatorship, marked by

bloody repression of opposition, invasion

of all aspects of private life and negation

of public space.

Libya entered a civil war in 2011, as

protests turned into a rebellion which was

met with force by Gaddafi. A NATO offensive

began in March 2011, bolstering the rebellion.

Gaddafi was killed in October 2011.

Since 2011, Libya has been torn among

rival, armed militias affiliated with distinct

regions, cities and tribes. The power vacuum

has created an opening for tribal militias and

jihadist groups to make incursions. There

are currently two main rival governments:

the Interim Government (IG), based in the

East, formed in 2014; and the Government

of National Accord (GNA), formed in 2016

under UN-led Initiative for a Libyan Political

Agreement, based in the West. Presidential

and parliamentary elections have been







« There are a couple old

cinemas that were built

by the Italians in the days of

the Libyan kingdom but none

of them are working.

We have 6 7 but none are

working. I found out that

they’re destroying them. I

felt ashamed and sorry. There

is a cinema that’s one of the

most amazing buildings in

Libya, but it was burned down

by the revolutionaries. Why?

Gaddafi was using it

for his things »

Abdul Mohaimen Zarrough,

photographer and

cultural manager,


planned since 2018, but have yet to be held. At

the time of writing, the Libyan National Army, led

by former Gaddafi general Khalifa Haftar, was

leading a major offensive on the GNA-controlled

city of Tripoli. Tens of thousands of people have

been displaced and hundreds killed, including a

significant number of African refugees.

The relationship between modern Libya

and Africa is difficult to dissociate from Gaddafiera

politics and the migration crisis, as Libya has

become an important passageway. Historically,

nomadic Tuareg and Tabu communities link the

South of Libya and areas to the South. Gaddafi

is known (and sometimes even romanticized)

as a prominent pan-Africanist. He was one of

the founding fathers of the African Union and

supported a number of liberation movements,

including the African National Congress in South

Africa. However, he also funded rebel groups in

Sierra Leone and Liberia and plotted to invade

Chad in 1980. Much of his pro-African policy

centered on personal self-aggrandizement as an

Arab king of Africa. Some commentators have

suggested that anti-Gaddafi backlash may

be fuelling anti-African sentiment in Libya

(see Racism below).


Libya’s present-day arts and culture sector

has been shaped by the authoritarianism,

censorship, and nationalism that prevailed

under Gaddafi and the profound turmoil that

has reigned since 2011.

The 1973 Cultural Revolution instituted

a climate of intense repression on

the arts and culture, resulting in the arrest

and prosecution of large numbers of cultural

actors, the murder of opposition figures, the

banning of foreign language books and musical

instruments, the destruction of infrastructures

left by Italian colonization and the criminalization

of languages other than Arabic.

In one of his speeches, Gaddafi stated that

“artists are free but their freedom will end


Country-Specific Information

when they approach the government (quoted in

Gana, 2011).”

The revolution brought a phenomenal outpouring

of creative production: protest poetry was

voiced, rap battles were hosted, graffiti exploded

on city walls, and photographers documented

the process, sharing their images via blogs and

social media. International institutions supported

this process, largely from the perspective of

encouraging arts as a form of documentation of

human rights defense and democracy-building.

After violent clashes in 2013 2015 put a

halt to cultural activity, the last years have seen a

recrudescence in grassroots arts. Clusters of cultural

actors are forming organically in Tripoli and

Benghazi, finding creative solutions to the vast

problems of lack of infrastructure, training, managerial

capacity and restrictions on movement.

Neither of the two provisional governments has

a Ministry of Culture, although both have general

authorities for culture. However, neither is

truly in touch with the grassroots cultural

scene and neither is funding any major

events or facilities.

The young art scene is therefore

consolidating itself through a small number

of organizations run by dedicated young

artists, of which Tanarout in Benghazi and

WaraQ in Tripoli are the most active and

visible; support from international human

rights organizations; and the tireless work

of a small group of figures from the previous

generation, namely Ali Mustafa Ramadan

(founder of The Art House in Tripoli) and

Hadia Gana (an artist, founder of the Ali

Gana Foundation and Museum). Libyans

living abroad, such as Reem Gibreel in the

USA, founder of the Arete Foundation,

and architect Najlaa el-Ageli, founder of

Noon Arts Projects, are also playing an

important role in connecting Libya with the

international arts scene. Today’s Libyan arts

scene is an incredible model of resilience

and revival, much of which has been driven

by remarkable solidarity.







« Our history was re-written

under Gaddafi we don’t know

our own history. Not just in

Libya, but across the whole

Middle East, it’s been

trauma after trauma, since the

Ottomans. We need to tackle

this history. [Visual artist]

Takwa [Barnosa] is asking

what is the legacy of the

Ghaddafi era? The younger

generation didn’t go through

the brainwashing the older

generations did. »

Najlaa El-Ageli

Curator and architect, Founder

of Noon Arts Projects, Tripoli/



Mobility to / from Libya has been severely hampered

by the cultural isolationism under Gaddafi

and the war since 2011, which caused borders to

close, flights to / from Libya to cease and foreign

embassies to leave Libyan cities.

The Libyan arts scene is very little known

outside the country. Incoming mobility of cultural

actors to Libya has thus been virtually nil, voided

by lack of knowledge and security concerns.

AMA had never received an application

for a mobility project to / from Libya until

2018 (see Ouafa Belgacem quote below). It

should be noted that several cultural actors

in neighbouring countries expressed strong

interest in knowing more about the Libyan

cultural scene, voiced their solidarity with

their Libyan peers and expressed the desire

to create bridges.

Today, mobility of Libyan cultural actors is

beginning again, with exchanges happening

almost exclusively via Tunisia. Tunisia is one

of the only countries that does not require

visas from Libyan citizens and the only flight

connections to / from Tripoli and Benghazi

are with Tunis. Moreover, with most foreign

embassies having left Tripoli and Benghazi,

the closest embassies are in Tunis, forcing

Libyan travellers to make a stop there in

order to complete visa procedures.

Libyan citizens are eligible for visa-free

access to Mauritania and Algeria, although

Algeria’s border authorities have been reported

to be inconsistent. Access to Egypt

has become very difficult in recent years.

Respondents did not cite any examples of

travels to Morocco.


Country-Specific Information








Examples of mobility projects:

Visual artist Tewa Barnosa recently curated an exhibition

titled The Green Book at LeCube in Rabat.

The theme of the exhibition was The Green Book,

the manifesto published by Gaddafi in 1976 in which

he defined his regime’s ideology. Because Tewa

could not get a visa to Morocco, she curated the

exhibition virtually.

The regional programme Travelling Narratives

brought Libyan artist Suhaib Tantoush to complete

a residency at LeCube in Rabat. Travelling Narratives

is a regional program of art and research “that

aims to encourage interactions between cultural

agents in Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania and

Libya” through residencies, exhibitions, screenings,

meetings, workshops and conferences. The

program is carried out in partnership with Townhouse

Gallery in Cairo, Les Ateliers Sauvages in

Algiers, WaraQ art foundation and the cultural

space Diadie Tabara Camara in Nouakchott.

Musicians Faraj Alsileeni and Mohamed Busneina

of Tanarout performed at the Cyprus Mediterranean

University’s Libyan Day.

Visual artist Hadia Gana participated in Kaw-kaw

at Le18 in Marrakech, a collective residency organized

around the theme of the Greater Maghreb Union.

Tripoli-born and London-based architect Najlaa

El-Ageli has curated 15 exhibitions of Libyan art

in various locations in Libya and Europe through

her curatorial platform Noon Arts Projects,

including Retracing A Disappearing Landscape

(2018), an interdisciplinary show on memory and

personal history in Libya.






« Libyan artists cannot rely on the government to

provide places for art. The governments only

care about appropriating the buildings for themselves

to show off to the others that they’re

stronger. »

Abdul Mohaimen Zarrough

Photographer and cultural manager,



Country-Specific Information

Musicians Mohamed Busneina and Faraj Alsileeni perform at

Tanarout arts space in Benghazi.

Photo courtesy of Dina Gallal/Tanarout


« Before, when [artists] were

allowed to go to most countries,

there was no art movement. But

now there is an art movement, and

people can’t move. »

Abdul Mohaimen Zarrough

Photographer and cultural manager,



Country-Specific Information


The cultural affairs delegations are not funding

cultural projects at present. Cultural actors

who are travelling are doing so through funding

provided by international human rights organizations,

universities or cultural institutes. Given

the relative inexperience of the Libyan culture

sector and lack of managerial capacity, Libyan

cultural actors are hard-pressed to compete

with their colleagues in neighbouring countries

for funds. AMA, AFAC, Al Mawred al-Thaqafy

and Mophradat have scarcely funded Libyan

cultural actors.


Currency and costs

· A host of issues make financing travel extremely

complicated. In the current banking crisis,

there is a shortage of dinars, which means

that accounts may be frozen for months at a

time. The dinar is extremely devalued, meaning

that transactions must be paid via the black

market, often with exacerbated rates. Foreign

currencies cannot be exchanged in Libya.

· Respondents stated that foreign funding agencies

require organizations to have a bank

account in Tunis, as they will not transfer to

Libyan accounts.

We’re not allowed to exchange any money. We

use the black market. The other problem is the

exchange rate. You have to work very hard to

make $1000. Faiza Ramadan, visual artist,



· The Libyan passport is very weak; entry into

countries other than Tunisia is not guaranteed

without support from a well-established human

rights organization or cultural institute.






Libyans aren’t welcome in most countries.

Faraj Alsileeni, Director, Tanarout, Benghazi

· Visa procedures require a trip to Tunis, incurring

travel and accommodation costs.

For my Green Book exhibition, I had to remotely

curate it not because of funding but

because Morocco doesn’t allow Libyans at all.

Tewa Barnosa, visual artist and founder of WaraQ

Art Foundation, Tripoli / Berlin

Transport of artworks

With militias in control at the airports, transport

of artworks is seen as suspicious. Respondents

reported smuggling artworks in hand-luggage,

and/or pleading with authorities to let them pass.

Every single time I travel with the darbuka, I have

a problem. I need to have it with me in the cabin.

They’re always annoying me about this. They’re

treating me as if I were doing a wedding party

or something people who are playing music

or singing music don’t have much respect from

society. Mohamed Busneina, drummer, Content

Developer & Head of Music Dept. of Tanarout,


Lack of connections

· Direct flights between Libya and most countries

have been cancelled since the outbreak of the

war. The most stable remaining international

connections are between Tripoli or Benghazi

and Tunis, Alexandria and Istanbul.

War and security

· The security situation is extremely unstable,

with the potential for armed conflict to break

out at any point.

It’s hard to travel within our own country because

of the fights between cities, which make

it dangerous to travel. As long as they’re fighting

amongst themselves, we’re suffering. Dina

Gallal, photographer and visual artist, Tanarout,


· Road travel is extremely dangerous; it is subject

to control by militias and may cross conflict


· The Tripoli and Benghazi airports are controlled

by militias.

Travelling is not safe at all. Even travelling by flight

is not safe. You never know who is controlling


Country-Specific Information

the airport on a given day. Mohamed Busneina,

drummer, Content Developer & Head of Music

Dept. of Tanarout, Benghazi

Flight delays and complications

· All respondents noted that travelling out of

Libya is an extremely hazardous and at best

time-consuming process.

Flight delays are crazy sometimes you wait 10 12

hours in the airport, waiting there for nothing.

Mohamed Busneina


· Harassment at the airport is extremely common,

namely for artists and especially for women

travelling alone.

At arrival at the airport, I was held for a while

for no convincing reason. In my opinion, it was

related to the fact that I am a Tunisian woman,

unveiled and travelling alone to Libya. As the

airport is still primarily controlled by militia, many

of which are pro-Daesh, a woman travelling alone

is as such a defiance. Ouafa Belgacem, cultural

resource mobilization expert, CEO of Culture

Funding Watch, Tunis






Lack of identification with Africa and racism

· Racism is a major issue in Libya. Discrimination

toward black Libyans and Africans is

deep-seated, marked namely by the presence

of racial stratifications and derogatory terms.

However, it has taken new forms in recent

years, especially as a result of the war, which

has caused internal displacement for black

Libyan communities, and the escalation of

migration from African countries further south.

Indeed, despite the strife and instability in the

country, Libya is an important transit point

for migrants trying to reach Europe. Human

rights organizations have reported the vast

range of abuses that migrants face, from arbitrary

detentions, to beatings, to killings. In

2016, the IOM reported that migrant Africans

were being sold as slaves in Libya; in 2017,

CNN published a video of a slave auction

that sparked an international outcry. In the

media and in everyday conversation, Libya

is described as a dangerous place for black


Lack of infrastructures and professional


· As described above, there is a glaring lack

of infrastructures and facilities for the arts in

Libya’s main centres, due to repression during

the Gaddafi era and subsequent destruction

during the years of conflict. Nevertheless, the

centres described above are eager to connect

with foreign artists and are building facilities

that could host mobility projects in the future.

· The new generation of Libyan artists and cultural

operators is largely self-taught, making it

difficult for them to compete with international

artists in funding calls. They are however highly

motivated and are seeking out opportunities

for training whenever available.

I’m self-taught. All of us have to learn the hard

way. Lots of things, we learn via the Internet. We

can’t find materials in the country for many types

of art. At Tanarout we’re all volunteers. Dina

Gallal, photographer, Tanarout, Benghazi


Country-Specific Information




Population 4.42 million (World Bank, 2017)

Surface area


Large cities


1.03 million km²


Nouadhibou ; Kibera

Modern Standard Arabic (official)

Hassaniya Arabic (vernacular)

Pulaar, Soninke, Wolof (national); French

Dialling code +222


Main international



Nouakchott International Airport

Nouadhibou International airport

Rail network Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière, 704

km (Nouadhibou Zouerate)

Visa requirements

for Africans to enter


African countries’ visa

requirements for Mauritanian


Visa-free access for nationals of Algeria,

Tunisia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Gambia,

Côte d’Ivoire

Visa on arrival for all other countries

Visa-free access: Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Niger,

Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Burkina Faso, Benin,

Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mauritius and

Sierra Leone.

Visa on arrival and / or e-Visa: Mauritanian

citizens travelling to Cameroon, Comoros,

Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau,

Gabon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique

Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania,

Uganda, Togo, Rwanda, Zambia and



Country-Specific Information


Mauritania is located at the hinge of North and

West Africa. With 90 % of the territory lying within

the desert, the vast majority of the population

lives along the southern coast. The capital and

largest city is Nouakchott, home to one-third of

the country’s population.

Mauritania is an eminently multiethnic

country, although strife has tainted the formation

of a peacefully pluralistic society. The country’s

demographics today are made up of three

main groups: Bidhans of Arab-Berber origin; the

Haratin, descendants of former slaves, also

Arabic speakers; and people of West African

descent, among them Soninke, Bambara and

Wolof. Arabic is the official language of Mauritania,

with Hassaniya the local spoken dialect.

French is used in the media and educated classes.

English is making inroads. Social hierarchization

based on skin colour and ethnicity is strong,

with black Haratin assigned to the lowest caste.

While Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981 (the

last country in the world to do so), the practice

is still in place. Ethnic discord and slavery were

at the heart of the Mauritania-Senegal Border

War of 1989 and continue to permeate political

discourse in the country.

Mauritania has been rocked by a series of

coups or attempted coups since independence

from France in 1960. A series of military rulers

succeeded one another between 1978 and 2005.

After a transitional government was instituted in

2007, General Abdel Aziz seized power in 2008.

He was elected in 2009 through an irregular

election process. He is currently president.

Mauritania is one of the poorest countries

in the world, despite important natural resources.

Droughts, most notably the Great Sahel droughts

of the early 1970s, have devastated the country.

According to Freedom House, the country is not

free. While the government has adopted laws to

address the problem of institutionalized slavery

and discrimination, it continues to arrest antislavery












In February 2011, the Arab Spring spread to

Mauritania, with thousands of people taking

to the streets to denounce slavery, corruption

and human rights abuses. The protests did not

generate full-scale revolution or reform.


The arts and culture sector in Mauritania is precarious

but dynamic, borne by dedicated artists

and activists working without official support.

The Ministry of Culture has the capacity to offer

project support. However, most of the budget

is allocated to festivals, which respondents say

are essentially showcases for the Ministry. The

modern-traditional divide still figures strongly in

discussions of art and culture, but cultural actors

are working to bridge art forms and audiences.

Dominated by oral cultures, Mauritania

is most closely associated with the music of the

Amazigh griots. As nomadic memory-keepers,

they traditionally traveled through the desert to

share their music and stories. The droughts and

political upheavals of the 1970s irremediably impacted

these traditional modes of creation and

transmission, forcing nomadic peoples into the

cities and subsequently repressing their forms of

expression. Today, traditional musicians belong to

the lowest social caste and are only able to monetize

their creative work through performances

at weddings. Organized by Mauritanian-Canadian

Atigh Ould and hosted annually or bi-annually

outside Nouakchott, the Festival Nomade creates

a platform for traditional musicians to share their

music with local and international audiences,

who come from Europe, Canada and across

Africa. Moreover, the internationally known singer

Maalouma has recently opened a foundation,

funded by AFAC and the Ministry of Culture,

which offers a studio and recording space.

Nouakchott is home to a dynamic hiphop

scene. It is celebrated every year at the

massive Festival Assalamalekoum, which has

been known to draw audiences of up to 15.000.

Performance spaces in Nouakchott are rare,


Country-Specific Information

Mobility projects:

many having been destroyed or abandoned by

successive authoritarian regimes. The Institut

Français continues to have the most comprehensive

facilities, although the Egyptian and

Moroccan cultural centres are used as well.

Some cultural centres and youth centres are

used by local artists but lack equipment.

In the literary field, Traversées Mauritanides

organizes literacy initiatives, publishes

books and organizes a yearly literary festival. La

Maison des cinéastes is one of Nouakchott’s

most vibrant associations, organizing film

screenings, trainings and an annual festival.

Other art forms are marginalized, being

associated with colonization. Nevertheless, small

galleries and visual art spaces are emerging.

Échos du Sahel and painter Amy Sow’s ArtGallé

are two such spaces to watch. Finally, Centre

Diadie Tabara Camara is creating music projects

for formerly enslaved peoples in Nouakchott,

using music as a vehicle of empowerment, expression

and human rights defense.




Mauritanian artists travel principally to three

destinations: France, Morocco and Senegal.

However, exchange with Mali, Tunisia and Egypt

has become more common in recent years. Artists

are drawn to Tunisia for its theatre scene, while

Casablanca and Dakar’s dynamic music scenes

attract contemporary Mauritanian musicians.

Despite long distances, artists travel to

Dakar, Bamako and Banjul by car. Most flight

connections are to Dakar and Casablanca, but

TunisAir now also connects Nouakchott to Tunis.

Filmmaker Hamedine Kane participated in

Kaw-Kaw residency at Le18 in Marrakech.

Poet, journalist and filmmaker Mohamed

Idoumou has visited roughly 38 countries,

including meetings across North Africa.


« The Ministry of Culture organizes a festival

in each of the 4 historic cities; those are the

events that are the best funded by banks,

cooperation institutes and local companies, but

they’re very poorly organized. They are made

for the President to give a speech; they bring big

artists from the Arab world who don’t necessarily

need to travel »

Mohamed Idoumou

Poet, journalist, documentary filmmaker

and cultural operator, Maison du cinéma de



Country-Specific Information

Mohamed Idoumou performs a poem on the

theme of flying, in collaboration with a dancer

colleague in Leipzig, Germany.

Photo courtesy of Mohamed Idoumou


Country-Specific Information












Country-Specific Information


The Ministry of Culture is said to offer funding, but

procedures and budgets are not clear and funds

are poorly organized. Artists reportedly depend

heavily on cooperation institutes, embassies and

festival invitations to travel. Mauritanians are very

little represented in AMA’s statistics, as in those

of other funds in the region.


Isolation: high costs of travel and lack of


· Flight costs to / from Nouakchott are high.

· Mauritanian cultural actors are not well connected

to funding organizations. Conversely,

international funding organizations have so

far not made efforts to bolster mobility of

Mauritanian cultural actors.

· While Mauritanians are technically eligible for

all major funds (AFAC, al-Mawred al-Thaqafy,

RCF), its ambiguous status between North and

West Africa may feed (potentially unconscious)

exclusion from Arab / MENA-oriented initiatives.

· The Ministry of Culture does not support travel

of cultural actors.











Algeria have done a disservice to its relations

with Morocco, making visas to the

Kingdom more difficult to obtain.


· Not all Mauritanians speak English or French

sufficiently to fill in funding applications

in those languages and as such may feel


Lack of professionalization

· Opportunities for professional artistic training

and development are virtually nil in Mauritania.

As such, artists do not necessarily

have the skills or knowledge to search for

funding, finance their careers, etc.

They want to travel but they are stuck inside

the country they don’t understand cultural

management. Atigh Ould, founder and director

of Festival Nomade, Nouakchott / Montreal*


· Mauritanian cultural actors must travel to Dakar

to get visas to countries that do not have a

diplomatic representation in Nouakchott.

Many young people want to attend events in Europe

and the USA; but it takes time, and if you don’t know

the ambassador, it takes months. Even Morocco

and Egypt are starting to get complicated as well.

Mohamed Idoumou, Poet, journalist, documentary

filmmaker and cultural operator, Maison du

cinéma de Nouakchott*

· Mauritania’s neutral stance on the Western

Sahara issue and diplomatic relations with


Country-Specific Information

4. 5



« Everyone knows it:

there’s incredible potential in Africa.

Morocco is trying to be a leader in

pro-African development. All our

banks, all our construction companies

are investing in Africa, especially West

Africa. The king has a pro-African

stance. There have been important

regularization campaigns [for

migrants from the South], as long as

Europe isn’t applying pressure. »

Amina Mourid

Cultural operator, co-founder, Atelier

Kissaria & Think Tanger*


Population 35.74 million (World Bank, 2017)

Surface area


Large cities


710.085 km²


Casablanca; Fès; Tangiers; Marrakech; Salé;

Meknès ; Oujda; Kenitra; Agadir

Modern Standard Arabic and Tamazight


Moroccan darija (spoken); French

Dialling code +212


Main international


Rail network

Visa requirements

for Africans to enter


African countries’

visa requirements for

Moroccan nationals

Moroccan dirham

Casablanca Mohammed V International


Marrakech Menara International Airport

Agadir Al Massira International Airport

Tangiers Ibn Battuta International Airport

Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF);

2067 km

Visa-free access for nationals of Algeria,

Tunisia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Niger and


Electronic travel authorization required

for nationals of Guinea, Mali and Republic

of Congo

Visa required for all other nationalites

Visa-free access: Mali, Niger, Senegal,

Gambia, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Mali,

Seychelles and São Tomé

e-Visa: Angola, Djibouti, Ethiopia,

Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania,

Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Visa on arrival: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritania,

Mauritius, Mozambique, Republic of

Congo, Somalia and Togo


Country-Specific Information


Located on the northwestern edge of Africa,

Morocco has been inhabited by Amazigh tribes

for as long as there are written records. After Arabization,

it was the only northwest African country

to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite

dynasty, which rules to this day, seized power in

1631. In 1912, Morocco was divided into French

and Spanish protectorates, with the French taking

the majority of the territory and instituting a

system of acculturation, namely via the schooling

system and administration. Morocco regained

its independence in 1956.

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy

with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco

holds vast executive and legislative powers.

While Morocco has been relatively stable since

independence, its recent history has been marked

by economic and social crises, which erupted

in the 2011 movements. Joining in the chorus

of revolution to the East, Moroccans called

for greater social justice, freedom and dignity.

King Mohamed VI responded by shifting some

authority to the legislature and passing a new

Constitution. However, these moves have been

criticized as cosmetic more than structural: the

King maintains dominance through a combination

of formal powers and informal lines of influence

in state and society, and most ministries are run

by technocrats loyal to the monarchy.

In the last 5 6 years, Morocco has invested

considerably in economic and commercial

ties with African countries across the continent.

It reintegrated the African Union in 2017 and has

asked for membership in the Economic Community

of West African States. It has invested

considerably in flight connections with Africa

via the main carrier, Royal Air Maroc. In 2015,

42% of trade was with Sub-Saharan African

countries, most in West Africa. Morocco had 13

intra-African investments, mostly in banking and

telecommunications. Attijariwafa Bank Group








operates in 10 Sub-Saharan African countries;

Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur has

18 country operations. Last year, the King went

on official state visit to East Africa, with his usual

entourage of businessmen, signalling a desire

to expand his reach beyond areas of culturallinguistic


It should finally be noted that Morocco

has taken on a leadership role on migration. It

is a member of the International Organization

for Migration, was co-president of the Global

Forum of Migration in 2018 and may be the seat

of an African Migration Observatory for the EU.

Morocco is making efforts to regularize immigrants

arriving in the country, thereby complying

with European wishes to curb travel on the

Mediterranean. While endearing Morocco to the

EU, this approach also serves diplomatic objectives

with African countries and contributes to

existing efforts to portray Morocco as a tolerant

society (Malka, 2018).


« To this day, there hasn’t been

any dialogue between the Ministry

of Culture and cultural actors.

And when I look at the results of the

Ministry’s calls for applications,

the beneficiaries do not reflect

the dynamism of the cultural

scene. »

Bouchra Salih

Independent cultural operator and




Country-Specific Information


Morocco’s artistic sector is dynamic, diverse

and growing, despite an array of challenges. It

is the strongest in the region in terms of local

activity and international exchange. Indeed,

Morocco is emerging as an arts hub on the continent.

It namely boasts a strong festival culture,

epitomized by major events such as Mawazine

Festival (dubbed the “King Mohamed VI Festival”)

and Marrakech International Film Festival.

Independent initiatives such as Visa for Music and

On Marche! are bringing contemporary creation

to new audiences.

Created in 2002, the Ministry of Culture is

the government authority responsible for culture.

Centralization is fairly strong, with more than ¼

of cultural structures concentrated in Casablanca

and an additional 10% in Rabat (Benslimane,

2014). However, important events are present

across the country, namely in Marrakech and

Tangiers, which are becoming important cultural

hubs, as well as in cities such as Agadir.

The independent arts sector is active

in all artistic fields, with strong recent developments

in contemporary music, dance and visual

arts in particular. Independent art galleries are

flourishing, festivals are popping up and launching

careers, and centres such as l’Uzine, EAC

Boul’vart, Le18, Tabadoul (and many more) are

catalyzing creation by the young generations.

The private sector is bolstering creation, with

Foundations such as HIBA and Touria et Abdelaziz

Tazi playing an increasingly active role in

the sector.

Foreign cultural centres are present across

the country and have played a significant role in

dissemination and training. They do not provide

structural support. The Institut Français is by

far the most present and active. It is followed

by the Instituto Cervantes, which has centres in

Casablanca, Rabat, Tangiers, Fès and Tétouan;

the British Council; the American cultural centre;








the Goethe Institut; the Italian cultural institute

and the Russian cultural institute. There is additionally

an Egyptian cultural centre in Rabat.


Public administration

The Ministry of Culture can receive applications

for funding for individual / group projects.

However, respondents deplored the opacity of

funding procedures, the nepotism of funding, the

lack of openness to artists and cultural operators

and the lack of professionalism in the offices.

Bilateral cooperation institutes

With 12 centres across the country the largest

number in any single country the Institut Français

remains a strong reference point for funding

for mobility projects. However, disillusionment

is growing among cultural actors due to the

Institut’s shrinking budgets, lack of structural

funds in favour of meager project-based funds,

bureaucracy, slow procedures, and paternalist

attitudes. The Institut Cervantes does not provide

funding for cultural projects. The Goethe

and the British Council may provide funds on

a project basis.

Civil society organizations

A notable funder in Morocco is Association

Afrikayna, which has been delivering funding

for mobility projects connecting Morocco and

Africa through Africa Art Lines. The fund has

supported more than 95 projects since its inception

in 2016. They also organize masterclasses

with prominent artists from other African regions

as well as a library of African instruments.

Respondents univocally praised the fund for

its efficiency and flexibility, and for opening up

valuable opportunities across the continent.


Country-Specific Information

Compagnie O performs Ottof, choreographed and

directed by Bouchra Ouizguen.

Photo courtesy of Hasnae El Ouarga | Compagnie O


Country-Specific Information


« [At Afrikayna,] we work with

professionnals from Morocco, Mali,

Senegal, to bring up questions, issues we

have in common, and to highlight our

common heritage, but here in Morocco.

This work is opening people’s minds;

it’s piquing their curiosity and opening

perspectives. We’re very happy to see

that more and more artists are coming to

see us because they want to discover the

other African cultures and artistic scenes

or go perform in another part of the

continent. »

Ghita Khaldi

Director of Afrikayna,










Country-Specific Information


Morocco’s mobility channels are determined

mainly by its geographic positioning and diplomatic

ties. At the North-West corner of Africa,

Morocco is at the juncture of North Africa and

West Africa, and at the doors of Europe.

Until recently, it was Europe that drew

Moroccan artists most eagerly, especially neighbouring

Spain, for its geographical proximity

and historical ties, and France, which retains an

important place in Moroccan society. However,

the drastic restrictions placed on visas for Moroccan

citizens have reconfigured young Moroccans’

travel perspectives. In tandem with the

closing of Europe, the Arab Spring has brought

a refreshed sense of solidarity and curiosity toward

other countries in the Maghreb and Arab

world. Respondents reported that the desire to

travel East and South is getting as strong, if not

stronger, than the typical desire to travel North.

In North Africa, exchange with Tunisia

is most active, facilitated by visa-free travel

between the two countries and the wealth of

cultural activity in both. Ties with Algeria are

more complex due to the closed border and

high cost of air travel. Several respondents expressed

frustration in this regard. Morocco has

close ties to West Africa, especially Senegal but

also Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and

Niger. These connections have been explored

by practitioners in all fields, most prominently

in music, where Gnawa music has inspired a

wealth of musical exchanges and festivals across

borders. Essaouira’s Gnawa Music Festival is

one of the major events on the music calendar.

One of the most significant developments

in mobility to / from Morocco is the extensive development

of Royal Air Maroc’s network in recent

years, with a hub in Casablanca. The company

is now second only to Ethiopian Airlines in terms

of coverage on the continent and is poising itself

for greater growth, in line with Morocco’s policy

of economic overtures to Africa.









« It’s time to turn our eyes from

Europe to Africa. We learn from Europe,

but we learn more from Africa.

There’s an attitude that seems to

say “We know but they don’t.” We

have to see and value ourselves

as Africans. »

Hosni Almoukhlis

Theatre practitioner, founder

and artistic director, Théâtre de




« We wondered what had

happened to the question of the

Greater Maghreb, which seemed

to have somewhat disappeared,

which was raised in the 1990s

but stayed more or less on paper

without being reactivated. We

wondered how culture could

compensate for the lacks that are

part of today’s reality. »

Laila Hida

Photographer, co-founder,

Le18 derb el ferrane,



Country-Specific Information

Examples of mobility projects








Theatre practitioner Hosni Almoukhlis, head of

Théâtre de l’Opprimé in Casablanca, has travelled

to several West African countries for trainings

and festivals. In 2018, he organized the first

Rencontres africaines de théâtre social, with

artists from Senegal, Egypt and Tunisia invited

to Casablanca (an artist from Guinea-Bissau was

not able to attend due to a visa refusal).

Casablanca cultural centre L’Uzine has hosted

a number of events that spotlight African creative

scenes. The annual and multidisciplinary

Harambee Days showcases art from across the

continent, with live performances and exhibitions.

In 2018, l’Uzine organized Casalgéria in

collaboration with Algiers’ Brokkart to spotlight

contemporary Algerian photography, design, film,

music and visual arts.

The 2019 edition of the Rencontres chorégraphiques

de Casablanca, organized by Compagnie

Col’jam, will have a spotlight on African

dance. In 2020, Marrakech’s Festival On Marche!,

run by Compagnie Anania, will host the Biennale

of African dance.

In 2013, Marrakech’s Le18 initiated a project

named Kaw-kaw which aimed to reactivate the

political question of the Greater Maghreb. The

project included a 2-month residency, which

brought together one artist from each of the

countries, as well as an exhibition and a cycle of

presentations by scholars, curators and artists.

In 2018, Tangiers’ Mahal Art Space was the

first Moroccan arts space to host the annual

Boda-Boda Lounge, a 3-day, transnational video

festival in which a selection of video art pieces

by African and diasporan artists are screened

simultaneously in ten spaces across the continent.


Country-Specific Information



· Several respondents noted the dramatic difficulty

of obtaining visas to Schengen Europe:

long processing times, bureaucratic demands,

frequent refusals and, in the event that the

visa is granted, it is often for a pitifully short

number of days.

· Travel times to embassies in Rabat were also

noted as a reason for frustration.

· Travel to Egypt was noted as a growing area

of difficulty.

It’s become very difficult for young artists to enter

Schengen Europe. Things miraculously get much

simpler when their artistic project is backed by

a European state institution or when that institution

takes ownership of the project. Maria Daïf,

independent cultural operator, Casablanca*

Morocco / Algeria (see Algeria section)

Neocolonialism / paternalism

· Several respondents expressed the wish to

have mobility opportunities outside of Europe,

in light of old colonial/paternalistic relationships

between France and Morocco and especially

in light of their exacerbation in the form of visa


There is the legacy of colonialism especially

French that we’d like to detach from. For example,

the Moroccan administrative system is

partly modelled on the French system. We’d like

to create our own models of development, our

own way of doing things that fits our local reality.

Amina Mourid, Cultural operator, co-founder,

Atelier Kissaria & Think Tanger*

Geographic isolation

· Several respondents noted Morocco’s geographical

isolation as an impediment to mobility:

with the Algerian border closed and the

gates of Europe blocked to the North, Morocco

is enclaved. To the South, Morocco controls

the border with the portion of Western Sahara

that is under Moroccan occupation.








· Morocco’s distance from the Middle East disconnects

it from the lively scene and networks

operating in hubs such as Beirut, Amman,

Ramallah and Cairo.

Restrictions on freedom of expression

· Civil society associations are active but remain

subject to legal harassment, travel restrictions,

and other forms of repression.

· For example, an important signpost was the

December 26 dissolution of cultural organization

Racines, on charges of organizing an

activity outside its scope of action and hosting

a debate that was “prejudicial to the country’s



· Moroccan artists applying for funding may find

themselves restricted by language barriers.

There’s a linguistic conflict when it comes to [application]

forms : Classical Arabic is intimidating

and more and more young people are rejecting

French. English needs to be more present if the

goal is to reach young people. Maria Daïf*

Lack of identification to Africa and racism

· Moroccans have had an uneasy relationship

with Africa, which can express itself in racism.

Pan-Arabism somewhat squandered African

identity; it has left Moroccans with a sense of non-

African-ness as well as a form of self-denigration

towards their own popular culture, whereas the

social reality is that Africa begins in Tangiers and

ends in Cape Town. It’s really in the head that it

happens. There is also the question of Berberity

here, because that is what carries Africanness.

Berberity is extraordinarily diverse. It’s a huge

subject. Hicham Bahou, Co-director of EAC-

L’Boulvard, Casablanca*

Morocco’s migratory policy is geared at integration;

it is taking in refugees, people in transit,

who are fleeing difficult realities. Socially, it’s

creating a lot of incomprehension, questioning,

in which culture is not playing the role it should.

Culture is supposed to be the cement for all

these populations: we’re completely African in

our musical and cultural heritage. Ghita Kaldi,

Director of Afrikayna, Casablanca*


Country-Specific Information

4. 5



« For a long time, the dictatorship and the very idea of

the constitution of a modern Tunisian state made a point

of selling us this fantasy of “Tunisianity,” which would

have us be one homogeneous group.

[… ]


Population 11.52 million (CIA Factbook, 2017)

Surface area


Large cities


165.000 km²


Sfax, Sousse, Kairouan, Bizerte, Gabès

Modern Standard Arabic (official)

Tamazight; Tunisian Arabic; French

Dialling code +216


Main international


Rail network

Visa requirements

for Africans to enter


African countries’

visa requirements for

Tunisian nationals

Tunisian dinar

Tunis Carthage International Airport

Enfidha Hammamet International Airport

Monastir Habib Bourguiba International


Société Nationale des Chemins de

Fer Tunisiens ; 2150 km

Visa-free access for nationals of Algeria, Libya,

Mauritania, Morocco; Angola, Benin, Burkina

Faso, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Equatorial

Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea

Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia,

Niver, Senegal, South Africa

Visa required for all other nationalities

Visa-free access: Guinea, Ivory Coast,

Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Benin

Visa on arrival: Cabo-Verde, Comoros,

Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya,

Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda,

São Tomé and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia,

Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe


Country-Specific Information


Tunisia is both the smallest and the northernmost

country of North Africa, with a long history as

a meeting point of cultures and civilizations.

Its first inhabitants are the Amazigh. Since the

12th century BC, it has known several waves of

occupation and immigration, beginning with the

Phoenicians and followed by the Romans, the

Muslims, the Ottomans and the French. Tunisia

became independent in 1956.

The country’s recent history has been

profoundly shaped by the Revolution of 2011, an

intensive campaign of civil protest and resistance

that led to the resignation and flight of dictator

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 and the institution

of free elections in 2014. The self-immolation of

Tarek el-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi in Sidi Bouizid

on December 17, 2010 is widely regarded as

the spark for the region-wide wave of protests

referred to as the Arab Spring.

Today, Tunisia is a unitary semi-presidential

representative democratic republic. Since independence,

Tunisia has had a policy of cultivating

close foreign relations with Europe, in particular

with France and Italy. Today, the European Union

is Tunisia’s first trading partner and conversely,

Tunisia is one of the EU’s top trading partners in

the region. Tunisia is included in the European

Union’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP),

which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours

closer. It has been favoured by European external

cooperation initiatives in (North) Africa since

2011, namely in the field of culture (see below).

Tunisia has also played an active role in

African and regional organizations. It is a member

of the Arab Maghreb Union, the Arab League

and the African Union (among other international

bodies). Diplomatic relations with fellow Maghreb

nations Morocco and Algeria have historically

been strong. Trade is currently increasing with

Morocco. Relations with Libya have been more

erratic, but have become essential in recent

years as Tunisia works to support reconciliation

between opposing factions in Libya and keeps

its borders open to Libyans.








Before it was named Tunisia, the territory’s

name was Ifriqiya (or Africa), giving the presentday

name of the continent Africa. Tunisia’s diplomatic

and economic policies towards the rest

of the continent have been more limited than

neighbouring countries such as Morocco and

Algeria, although Tunisia’s Ministry of Economy

recently launched an investment fund for Africa.


[…] We’re now discovering that no, as a matter of

fact, in Tunisia there are black people, there are other

types of cultures, there are musical traditions, that are

steeped in Africanity. There is a growing consciousness

around Berberity, Africanity, that is part of this

postcolonial unmooring. The question today is how to

link these “identitary” constructions with economic

and political considerations; how to link questions of

belonging to questions of class and domination.

Many youth want to emancipate themselves from

colonial domination.

It seems to me that it may be important to think of

a sort of Arab-pan-Africanism. The colonial spirit

sought to divide the “indigènes” through systems of

hierarchization, but it’s important today to pay attention

to what is happening at the linguistic and cultural

levels and to young people’s choices in their forms of

expression. We shouldn’t speak in their place nor take

away their voices, but listen to them. »

Mariem Guellouz

Dancer and researcher, Director of Les Journées

chorégraphiques de Carthage,

Tunis / Paris*


Country-Specific Information





The Tunisian cultural sector has been flourishing

since 2011, with the energy of revolution and

the loosening of laws allowing for a veritable

explosion of new forms to emerge, especially

in the areas of photography, dance, street art

and performance.

Tunisia has long boasted a strong tradition

of festivals, with more than 400 amateur,

semi-professional and professional festivals

taking place yearly around the country. The most

well-known are the different “Journées” taking

place in Carthage: the Journées cinématographiques

de Carthage, the Journées théâtrales,

the Journées musicales, the Journées chorégraphiques,

the Journées poétiques and the

Journées d’art contemporain. Even as these

established festivals thrive, new initiatives from

civil society are creating important momentum:

l’Art Rue’s Dream City has become a flagship

event in the region, and other events like Interférences,

Jaou (by the Kamel Lazaar Foundation)

and a new festival of photography on the island

of Kerkennah are also making an impact.

The arts sector in Tunisia is strongly

centralized in Tunis and the North, although

decentralization efforts are underway. Several

associations (Cité’Ness, Fanni Raghman Anni,

and the Tunisian Culture Network, among others)

as well as private individuals are working hard to

reach rural areas of the country, although they

underline the difficulty of such efforts given the

limited government support and cost of travels.






Tunis has become a hub for regional travel due to

its political stability, its centrality in North Africa

and the relative openness of its borders. In North

Africa, the most active axis of exchange is with

Morocco. Strong ties also exist with Algeria,

namely thanks to the geographic proximity which

has allowed some artists to travel by car from

Alger to Tunis. However, respondents noted that

the repressive context in Algeria and the limited

visibility of certain disciplines (especially dance

and theatre) has made exchange more difficult.

Tunis is connected by air to most major

cities in North Africa. Road travel to Algeria is

possible, but traveling to Libya by road is not

advisable due to military presence at the border.

A train line is due to connect Casablanca, Algiers

and Tunis but the project is currently stalled.

Tunisia’s visa policy is the most open of

the region. However, exchange with the rest of

Africa remains weak (see Impediments below).

This is despite a strong desire for connection

with the rest of the continent. Until recently, travel

to most African destinations involved flying via

Paris. However, Tunisair has recently upgraded

its connections to West Africa. Flights to other

destinations in Africa typically go via Casablanca,

at steep costs.


Country-Specific Information

















Examples of mobility projects

Multidisciplinary arts centre L’Art Rue has hosted

a number of African artists through its residency

program, as well as through its flagship bi-annual

event, Dream City (Biennale of contemporary art

in public space).

The Centre arabo-africain de formation et de

recherche théâtrale has trained more than 367

theatre practitioners in the Arab world and Africa

since its opening in 2001.

Lab619 attended their first residency at Festival

de la BD in Alger. They now have a partnership

with Algerian artists.

The JISER network aims to stimulate exchanges

around contemporary art and research. It links

Algiers, Tunis and Barcelona.

Tunis-based arts and cultural rights organization

Fanni Raghman Anni and Al-Madina (Alexandria)

have a cultural exchange partnership.

Visual artist Wadi Mhiri is now a co-organizer

for Ségou Arts in Ségou, Mali, after attending

several editions of the festival.

Dancer/choreographer Hafedh Zallit recently led

masterclasses at Karemba Studios in Bamako,

Mali as part of Projet Berka 174. Named after the

old slave market in Tunis’ medina, the project

aims to excavate the mémoire du lieu to bring

into focus and interrogate present-day questions

of racism and religious, nationalist and

economic conflict.

Lang’art arts centre and Association Danseurs

Citoyens are launching the first Tuniso-African

festival of dance this year.

The 2019 edition of the Journées chorégraphiques

de Carthage, directed by Mariem Guellouz,

had a focus on Africa and the Arab world.









Country-Specific Information

Dancers Samuel Dijoulaye Coulibaly, Abdailkader Traoré, Bintou

Kébé and Sylvie Kouané participate in a Masterclass led by Tunisian

choreographer Hafedh Zallit at the Centre Culturel Togola de

Sabalibougou in Bamako, Mali, as part of Projet Berka 174.

Photo courtesy of H.PROD/Hafedh Zallit


« Travel means connections, friends, the chance to love

music even more. In Tunis, every time I go, I get to find

books. There are no libraries in Benghazi. From my

perspective and from what I hear from the people around

me, you come back as a different person every time you go,

even if you go for 5 days. We need to do something here to

make culture the basis of change in this society. »

Faraj Alsileeni

drummer and Director,

Tanarout, Benghazi*


Country-Specific Information


Public administration

Tunisia has invested significantly in its Ministry

of Culture since the Revolution. Individual artists

and organizations are technically eligible to

receive funding for projects including mobility.

However, this potential funding source is weakened

by a serious lack of transparency and poor


In the face of poor funding from public

administration, the Tunisian independent sector

relies substantially on international funders,

principally the European Union. Tunisia has been

the main beneficiary of EU funding for arts and

culture in the Maghreb. Funding is intended to

support culture as a lever for democratic transition.

EU funding is distributed through three channels:

1) A partnership between the French Ministry

of Culture and Tunisian Ministry of Culture;

2) Tfanen Tunisie Créative (budget of 6 million

euros). Launched in 2015, Tfanen’s “Fonds

d’appui à la création” can support mobility projects.

Finally, 3) as of 2018, Tunisia is a member

of Creative Europe. Tunisian organizations have

full eligibility to apply for funding through the

Culture sub-programme and are partially eligible

for the Media sub-programme.

Bilateral cooperation

Bilateral cooperation institutes are present in Tunis

and other major cities. The Institut Français has

the strongest presence, with branches in Tunis,

Sousse and Sfax. The Goethe Institut is present

in Tunis. Respondents noted the impact it has

had via training programs for cultural managers.

The British Council, the Italian Institute for Culture

and the Cervantes Institute are also present.

Local foundations are also emerging

to support cultural projects, with very promising

beginnings. Launched in 2015, the

Fondation Rambourg is building up capacity to

support mobility projects via several schemes:

1) partnerships; 2) grants; 3) scholarships; 4)

projects initiated by the foundation. Fondation

Kamel Lazaar has a grants programme for








practitioners in the fields of Visual arts, Heritage,

Music and performing arts (theatre, dance, etc.)

and Cultural and civic education.



· Parental permission for travel is necessary for

all travellers under the age of 35 years.

· Travellers leaving Tunisia must purchase a « timbre

de sortie » (exit stamp), at a cost of 30 dinars.

· Tunisians must purchase a « timbre de voyage »

(traveller’s stamp), at a cost of 60 dinars.

· While small, these amounts may place an additional

burden on artists who are already in a

precarious financial situation and may not receive

coverage from institutions inviting them.

Several artists were arrested at the airport and

missed their flight because they didn’t have the

parental authorization document. Asma Kaouech,

executive director, Fanni Raghman Anni, Tunis*

Currency and funding

· The Central Bank controls all transactions in dinars.

Dinars cannot be traded outside of Tunisia.

· There is a ceiling of 6.000 dinar (approx. 1760

euros) imposed on purchases made in foreign

currencies. This imposes a serious limit on the

number of travels that can be made outside the

country, especially considering the high costs of

travels. Travellers must purchase tickets through

a local travel agent, unless the inviting institution

purchases the tickets or the traveller makes

arrangements via a colleague, friend or family

member outside the country.

In Tunisia, we can’t buy tickets that we find online

at low prices, since we have to buy them in euros,

which the law prohibits. Furthermore, we get a

tourists’ allowance of only 6000 dinars per year.

Consequently, if we travel 6-8 times per year, as

I did last year, we have to split that sum over all

the trips. We have to travel with 200 300 euros

per trip, which is not a comfortable amount.

Wadi Mhiri, visual artist, Tunis*


Country-Specific Information

· Foreign currencies can no longer be withdrawn in

Tunisia. As such, local organizations can no longer

pay invited artists in currencies other than dinars.

Tunisian organizations can no longer pay in euros,

which means that even if we invite an artist, we can’t

pay them. Even if there are structural mobility funds

that can be used to cover the artist to come to Tunisia,

the problem is that the central bank no longer grants

money for cultural activities. There’s a cash deficit.

Béatrice Dunoyer, program director, L’Art Rue, Tunis*

· The weakening of the dinar is also placing important

constraints on artists.

Tickets within Africa are too expensive. We can get a

ticket from Tunis to Paris without any problem, but to

go to Mali, it’s 1700 dinars off the bat and the currency

is in a free fall. For an artist to live, to prosper, it’s very

difficult if they don’t have support for the flight or their

stay. It’s very difficult for an artist to meet his/her needs.

Cyrine Gannoun, theatre actor and director, Director,

Théâtre Al-Hamra/Centre arabo-africain de formation

et de recherche théâtrales, Tunis*

Transport of artworks

· There are restrictions on the types of goods that may

be transported outside of Tunisia. Artworks and heritage

items cannot not be taken outside the territory

without authorization from the Ministry of Culture.


· Several respondents noted that Tunisia’s visa policy

is subject to frequent changes, which are in turn difficult

to track.

· Visa restrictions are getting tighter and tighter for

travel to Europe and are growing with MENA countries

such as Egypt and Lebanon.

Lack of infrastrucure

· Several artists noted that they do not have sufficient

access to competent and motivated cultural operators

to assist them in searching for funding and preparing

their funding applications.

· According to Shiran Ben Abderrazak, executive director

of the Fondation Rambourg, there is a strong

desire for training for cultural managers. To meet this

demand, the Université Tunis-Dauphine launched a

Master’s in cultural engineering this year, and the

Institut des Hautes Études Commerciales-Carthage

and the Fondation Rambourg are in the process of








creating a continuing education program in

cultural management.

Restrictions on freedom of expression

· Freedom House rates Tunisia as “free”. However,

control continues to be exerted in covert

ways, for example through the ceilings imposed

on withdrawals of dinars and expenses in

foreign currencies (see “Currency” above).

The state has passed new laws on associations

in an attempt to fight against organizations that

were laundering money the money was going

to the extremists. Among other laws, there is

now a very strict limitation on daily withdrawals

of dinars (an association cannot withdraw

more than 500 dinars/day, or 150 euros). It’s a

golden opportunity to smother civil society as a

whole. Béatrice Dunoyer*

· More explicit cases of censorship have also

been documented, for example with the police

closing down an exhibit at Maison de l’Image

in 2017.

Lack of identification to Africa and racism

· Tunisia portrays itself as an open country.

However, nearly all respondents agreed that

racism permeates Tunisian society. The history

of slavery has yet to be unearthed, and

black Tunisians from the South continue to be

treated as second-class citizens. In its extreme

forms, this racism is expressed in discrimination

and violence against black Tunisians, and

students and other immigrants from other

African regions.

· In the artistic community, respondents report an

awkwardness about Tunisia’s African identity

and a mistrust towards other Africans.

We have huge issues with racism here. Black

people are considered second-class citizens. It’s

horrible. [First, there are] the black people who

come from the South, who are Tunisian, and who

already face an atrocious level of racism. Then,

we have lots of Sub-Saharan students, from Côte

d’Ivoire, from Senegal, and all those who have

fled their countries. The average Tunisian is a

profoundly racist person. Malek Sebaï, dancer

and choreographer, co-founder, Association

Hayyou’Raqs, Tunis*


Country-Specific Information


Western Sahara

*A significant proportion of the population

lives in exile in the Tindouf refugee

camps in Algeria. Estimates vary about

the number of people living in the camps

(UN estimate: 90,000)


Population 580.039 (CIA, 2018)*

Surface area


Large cities


Dialling code

Main international


Visa requirements

710.085 km²

Tifariti (de facto capital of the Sahrawi Arab

Democratic Republic); Laayoune (capital of

the Moroccan-controlled zone)

Dakhla, Smara

(on Moroccan-controlled territory)

Tindouf refugee camps (in Algeria)

Modern Standard Arabic; Tamazight;

Hassaniya Arabic; Moroccan Darija; English,

French, Spanish

+213 (Algeria); +212 (Morocco)

Laayoune ; Dakhla (Morocco)

Tindouf (Algeria)

See Mobility below


Country-Specific Information


The area known by the term “Western Sahara”

is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of

Africa. It is divided into two regions: the majority

(roughly 80%) of the territory is under Moroccan

control, whereas a small portion is administered

as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR),

with a government in exile in Tindouf, Algeria.

Morocco has built a 2,700 km wall to delineate

the two zones, which it continues to guard and

monitor with military bases, artillery posts and

radars scanning the SADR side. The wall is lined

with landmines. Western Sahara is on the United

Nations’ list of “non-self-governing territories;”

it is the most populous territory on the list. The

SADR has been a member of the African Union

since 1984, a fact that pushed Morocco to withdraw

its membership (before rejoining in 2017).

Western Sahara was originally inhabited

by Amazigh tribes, which were later joined by

Serer from the south. After the arrival of Islam,

the land became the site of important caravan

routes, especially between Marrakech and

Timbuktu. Spain seized control of the area in

1884, establishing it as a Spanish colony. At

the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939,

administration was shifted into the hands of

Spanish Morocco.

Since Spain withdrew its troops in 1975,

the area has been at the centre of disputes

between Morocco and the Sahrawi Polisario

Front. Morocco annexed roughly two-thirds of

the territory in 1976 and the rest in 1979, following

Mauritania’s withdrawal. The Western

Sahara War, opposing Morocco and the Sahrawi

Polisario Front, lasted until a UN-brokered

cease-fire in 1991. A proposed referendum over

sovereignty was planned but has never taken

place. Algeria has backed the Polisario front

since the beginning, an issue that is at the heart

of present-day diplomatic tensions between

Morocco and Algeria. The conflict has resulted

in severe human rights abuses, including the

displacement of tens of thousands of Sahrawi


« There are a bunch

of local cultural festivals

that happen within the

camps and that move

from camp to camp.

Everything happens on

Algerian soil, aside

from Artifariti which

happens in 2 places in

the camps and in

Tifariti. International

artists come and spend

2 weeks in Tifariti. »

Mohamed Sulaiman

Photographer and visual

artist, Motif arts studio,

Samara refugee camp,


civilians and the death of thousands of civilians

during the war years. Morocco has been criticized

by Amnesty International, Human Rights

Watch and a vast number of other international

organizations for ongoing human rights abuses

and violent crackdowns on pro-independence

demonstrations. Freedom House rates Western

Sahara as “not free”, with a score of 4 / 100 in



Arts and culture in Western Sahara centre on

two major annual events, namely the FiSahara

International Film Festival and ARTifariti Festival

of Arts and Human Rights. FiSahara takes place

in the refugee camps around Tindouf, Algeria,

while ARTifariti is spread between the camps

and Tifariti, which sits in the Liberated Zone.

Both events centre on art as a medium for expression

of the struggle for human rights. Both

events draw international visitors, including

visitors from across Africa.

Cultural expression also thrives year-round

thanks to small artists’-run studios in Tindouf

and across the border. There are also

training opportunities, for example through

the Abidin Kaid Saleh Audiovisual School.

Meanwhile, Morocco has been investing

culturally in the territory it occupies, promoting

for example the city of Dakhla as a

touristic and cultural destination with events

such as the African Fashion Festival.


Country-Specific Information



Mobility to and from the Polisario-controlled portion

of Western Sahara and its arts events goes

through Tindouf in Algeria, with flight connections

to Algiers, Oran, Constantine and Béchar.

Visas applications to enter the Tindouf camps

must be submitted to both the Algerian and

Sahrawi authorities. Sahrawi representations

are present in 39 European and African cities.

In North Africa, the only embassy is in Algiers.

For Sahrawis living in SADR-controlled areas,

visa applications are complicated. According to

Citizenship Rights Africa, a Sahrawi passport

exists but is only recognized by states that recognize

the self-determination of the SADR. Sahrawis

living in the camps may possess Algerian

passports, which are granted to refugees, but not

ID cards. Extensive additional documentation is

necessary to apply for a visa.

Sahrawis living in Moroccan-controlled territory

are eligible for Moroccan passports. Moroccan

visa regulations apply for entry into the Moroccancontrolled

zones, with land entry possible via

the south of Morocco or the north of Mauritania

although subject to closures and road travel

subject to frequent checkpoints.



· The cost of travel is inaccessible to most Sahrawis,

who already live in extremely precarious


· Cost of travel to Tindouf is also high, requiring

a flight connection via Algiers, Oran, Constantine

or Béchar.














A flight from Algiers to Tindouf alone costs

more than a flight from Algiers to Paris. Walid

Aidoud, visual artist, Founder of Box24 (Algiers)

and coordinator of Algerian participants at

Artifariti festival


· Visa procedures are complicated for Sahrawis

living in the Tindouf camps and visitors.

See Mobility above.


· Networking opportunities for Sahrawis are

more or less limited to the two annual art

events. While these bring energy and new

ideas to local artists, they remain limited.

· Exchange with Mauritania could be improved,

given the common border.

This is a place that is cut off from the world.

There are little possibilities for people to interact

with the outside world. […] I’ve met

artists from Senegal, Tanzania, South Africa,

Mauritania, Tchad. The majority from Spain, but

there’s always someone from North America. I

wish we’d see more exchange with Mauritania.

There is great potential we speak the same

dialect, we have the same traditions and poetry

and music; they’re almost identical, not unlike

the differences between Morocco, Tunisia and

Algeria. It’s stronger with the Mauritanians.

There’s a lot of exchange in music and poetry.

This is an oral culture. Mohamed Sulaiman

Diplomatic tensions and disputes over


· Artists are at the centre of political disputes

over Sahrawi sovereignty. Access

to international events and opportunities is

conditional upon partner countries’ position

on Sahrawi sovereignty.

There is an embargo on the existence of Western

Sahara. Our association exists to spread

information, to be very clear on our position.

We try to base our work in humanitarian aid,

in strengthening the role of art and culture. I

have been subjected to many embargos. […]

We haven’t had Arab artists because no Arab

country [other than Algeria] recognizes

Western Sahara. Walid Aidoud


Country-Specific Information


· Lack of knowledge leads to prejudice visà-vis

Sahrawi artists.

We’re not always labelled as we would wish

to be. You can come across people who have

prejudice. Even though we are in a conflict

area, people are just like normal people doing

everyday things. I’m an artist, so I’m supposed

to add something beautiful to the world.

Mohamed Sulaiman

Sahrawi photographer and maker Mohamed Sulaiman

and Malian photographer and maker Gadiaba Kodio

organized workshops on artistic recycling at Motif Art

Studio in Samara refugee camp, Tindouf (Algeria).

Photo courtesy of Mohamed Sulaiman.


Conclusion & Recommendations



You can’t create projects without

connections. And mobility is a means of connecting.

If there’s no mobility,

nothing happens.

Bahri Ben Yahmed

Dancer and choreographer,

Danseurs Citoyens, Tunis*


Conclusion & Recommendations







The importance of supporting mobility

for artists and cultural actors in North

Africa cannot be stressed enough. Artists

young and older want to see new vistas, meet fellow

creatives, share perspectives, learn new techniques and

learn about themselves and one another. This desire for

exchange was shared by all 90 artists and cultural operators


It is a desire that is shared with artists all over the world

travel, touring and circulation have repeatedly been underscored

as necessities for the creative vocation. However,

mobility takes on special characteristics, resonances and

stakes in the North African context. In the wake of the

2011 revolutions and the uprisings, conflicts, and peaceful

movements of dissent that followed, a strong push toward

discovery and solidarity has unfolded across the region.

Old barriers of authoritarianism, isolationism and restricted

freedoms have been lifted (albeit with uneven follow-through

and worrying trends emerging); neighbours have felt like

they can finally see each other and get to know one another.


Conclusion & Recommendations

Inspiring networks, residencies and circuits have emerged

and been nourished across the region, thanks to the

dedicated work of visionary cultural operators and artists.

These initiatives must be supported.

At the same time, this push towards regional East-West

solidarity has not necessarily correlated with increased

mobility towards the South. This report has striven to

document some of the reasons why mobility between

North African countries and other countries across the

continent has been weaker than one might expect.

While many of these impediments are tied to long-entrenched

structures and trends that may be more difficult

to move, other obstacles are very much in flux. The most

prominent is the increasing closure of Schengen Europe,

which is shaping mobility on the continent at the level of

logistics but also, crucially, at the level of the imagination.

In parallel and relatedly, there is an emergent awareness

of the benefits of South-South connection and exchange,

and initiatives designed to stimulate and facilitate such

exchange are getting increasing momentum.

As the continent’s first mobility fund and the only continentwide

mobility fund open to all artistic disciplines, AMA is

in a unique position to help bolster this momentum. It is

our hope that this research will have contributed to this

vital goal by illuminating the opportunities that exist for

international mobility within North Africa and with other

African regions; shedding light on the impediments that

afflict this mobility; and articulating the recommendations

detailed below, all of which are drawn from feedback

from respondents and are geared at various stakeholders

(funders, cultural operators, artists, etc.).


« If there’s any way to change things,

it’s to travel within our country and

to travel on the continent. This is the kind

of mobility that is going to change things.

When I went to Tangiers, I talked to

some artists; those conversations

gave me so much. When I went to Tunis,

I found myself in a bar/café with all the

Tunisian youth. It was sublime. I went

back to Algiers feeling euphoric.

I came back with so much energy. It

did me so much good. We need these

experiences! »

Mehdi Djelil

Visual artist,



Conclusion & Recommendations

Dancer and choreographer Hind Benali (Compagnie Fleur d’Orange)

performing M’Safir (Traveler), a new creation on the “limits placed on the

freedom and mobility of Global South citizens from the moment they try to

cross the border with the North.”

Photo courtesy of Patrick Hamm.


« There’s a growing consciousness at the

local level: we don’t have much to do in the

North. There is so much to do here at home.

And the North is so saturated! I don’t see

myself going to work abroad permanently,

because what I have to do makes more sense

here. It’s the consciousness of my generation.

It’s what makes it so that people leave

and come back.»

Myriam Amroun

Cultural manager,


The lack of awareness of existing

opportunities and potential

partners was a recurring theme

in all interviews. Many artists

and operators expressed support

for this mapping exercise

and wished to know where others

could be found. In light of

this, a crucial step towards improving

mobility must be taken at the level of informationsharing,

namely through the following initiatives:

1.1. Create an online platform centralizing information

about opportunities on the continent, preferably

searchable by discipline, destination, etc. and

including a calendar, contacts and other relevant



Conclusion & Recommendations

1 .





in North Africa

and other

African regions

2 .



and online


Lack of concrete, in-person contact with peers and

colleagues underlies the lack of information sharing

and lack of awareness of possibilities outside

one’s immediate environment. Several respondents

stressed that their most fruitful collaborations have

come out of experiences where

they physically met a fellow artist

/ curator / operator. As such,

it seems necessary to multiply

such opportunities ideally,

through face-to-face meetings,

but also leveraging online

technologies to reduce costs.

2.1. Create opportunities for

cultural operators to meet and

share information, region- and

continent-wide. Cultural operators

will lead the way for artists

2.2. Encourage the creation

of discipline-specific networks,

using the model of the Network

of Alternative Arab Screens, AFRIFA and

Centres of Learning for Photography in Africa.

These networks can share information,

advocate for and facilitate mobility

2.3. Strengthen networks and support mobility in

areas where mobility is already facilitated by

visa-free policy (e.g., the Maghreb)

1. 2. Centralize and consolidate existing mappings (e.g.,

Racine’s ArtMap; Carte Culturelle de l’Algérie);

support new mappings for other countries

1. 3. Emphasize dissemination of information about

arts scenes in Algeria, Libya, Mauritania and

Western Sahara to combat isolation

2.4. Multiply scoping and training missions to

Algeria, Libya, Mauritania and Western Sahara

to reduce isolation and create new networks

2.5. Involve youth in new networks by reaching

out to art schools and universities


Conclusion & Recommendations


« We can create more virtual

platforms. We know it’s hard to

travel, but it shouldn’t be a

constraint on creating and doing

things together. Boda Boda project

showed us that it was possible to

work, reflect and feel together

all the while staying at home. It

starts with a commitment. »

Nouha Ben Yebdri

Curator, Mahal Art Space,



Improve funding


Lack of funding for mobility

is the regrettable counterpart

to the exorbitant costs of travel. The following

ideas were proposed for funders including AMA:

3.1. Create partnerships with festivals and specific

events, for example through a quota

system (this is the system employed by

Africa Art Lines, among others)

3.2. Give festival organizers the opportunity to

select the artists they want to invite

2.6. Ensure presence of mobility funders at events,

organize presentations

2.7. Host online meetings and e-conferences to

share information about opportunities, funding

sources, etc. These could be delivered through

regional or city-based point-people

2.8. Provide more support for “go-and-see” initiatives

and meetings that are not necessarily tied

to specific projects or expected outcomes.

Many artists expressed feeling that the strong

pressure to produce was in tension with the

total lack of knowledge they had of scenes

outside their own. As such, they felt that the

push to collaborate may be premature; they

need to get to know each other before they

start creating together

3.3. Create discipline-specific funding lines

to support disciplines that are weaker in

different countries and/or that suffer from

neglect from authorities and funding bodies

(e.g., dance in Algeria)

3.4. Expand the support that is included with

mobility funds: cover accommodation, per

diems, etc. (Al-Mawred al-Thaqafy has this


3.5. Advocate for the necessity of long-term

program support as opposed to projectby-project

funding, including mobility funds

3.6. Provide more flexible deadlines

3.7 Consider integrating interviews into selection

procedures to reduce the dependency

on professional grant-writing skills and

restore human exchange in the grant application



Support the

structuring of the

arts and culture

sector(s) in

North Africa


« Grants are there for artists to concentrate

on the artistic and not the economic sides

of their work. That’s where grants get

interesting. I would never have travelled as

much in Africa if I hadn’t had the help I got.

I received AMA grants, grants from the Institut

Français, which was much more open and

generous; it was a different system.

It changed my outlook once I was on the spot;

I wasn’t caught up in the same calculations,

the same deception and disillusionment.

It’s important that those kinds of structures

continue to support artists’ travels.»

Hind Benali,

Dancer and choreographer, Compagnie Fleur

d’orange, Casablanca/Nouméa*

With visa issues the most frequently cited

obstacle to mobility, it seems vital to work

to reverse the dramatic trends currently

underway through advocacy, monitoring

and information-sharing:


Conclusion & Recommendations

Strengthening mobility goes hand in hand with

strengthening the cultural sector as a whole. Various

stakeholders can participate in advocacy efforts

for the following objectives:

4.1 Advocacy for increased public support for

arts and culture, especially in countries which have

the budgetary capacity to do so (e.g., Algeria)

4.2. Advocacy for greater transparency about public administrations’

and international organizations’ budgets and

allocation of funds

4.3. Multiply opportunities for trainings for cultural managers

4.4 Encourage grassroots-level organizations to federate,

organize and advocate for greater structuration at the

local level

5.5 Reduce dependency on foreign organizations and cultural



Advocate for freedom

of movement for

artists and cultural


5.1. Create spaces for debate, exchange, solidarity and information-sharing

to emerge amongst cultural actors as a first step towards improved advocacy,

for example through round-tables at events

5.2. Monitor cases of visa refusals and build database

5.3. Create a secure hotline that artists / cultural operators can contact in

case of emergency (Tamizdat in the USA could be a model)

5.4. Advocate for true bilaterality and equitable treatment at the level of European

and other foreign cultural institutes

5.5. Advocate for freedom of movement for artists and cultural operators at

the national and supra-national levels, namely by leveraging Article 16

of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the

Diversity of Cultural Expressions


Conclusion & Recommendations


« Mobility is marvelous, yes. But beyond that statement, is there a real reflection

on the purpose of mobility if there is a purpose? If there is exchange, where is it? What

exchange? […] We need to create a real need for travel; travel for something true,

something useful. For the person who travels and the one who hosts, and the one

who watches the show. Otherwise it’s just lines on a report. »


« There is a big need for structures

or government-supported initiatives

that understand the value of cultural

policy it is still not well established in

the whole continent.»

Leila Toubel

Theatre actor, dramaturg and activist,



Re-center the

purpose of mobility:

creative and human


Mohamed Ghazala

Professor, Vice President of the

International Association of Animation

filmmakers (ASIFA),

Cairo / Jeddah

Finally, it seems essential to ensure that the immensely

valuable experiences that can emerge from mobility

and touring are protected and that mobility does not

become a purely utilitarian or mercantile concept.


« As far as the African continent is concerned, I’ve

had the opportunity to travel several times

to Senegal, to Côte d’Ivoire, to Tunisia…

[and] those have also been the only times in my life

that I’ve been able to travel without a visa! That has been

just amazing. You feel normal! You travel with

your passport and that’s it, it’s great. There are no

appointments to be made months in advance, no

endless application forms to complete, no

humiliations at the consulate, no credentials to show,

nor bank statements, nor other personal documents, to

prove that your credit is in good standing and that

you’re not going to try to “immigrate illegally”…

Basically, it’s just normal, it’s “fair” and it feels good. »

Zineb Benjelloun

Visual artist,


6.1 Advocate for the human and creative necessity

of mobility through creative and compelling

forms, foregrounding artists’ experiences and

creative expressions

6.2 Create opportunities for duplication and multiplication

of meetings, in the interest of allowing

people to meet several times

6.3 Cover accommodation and per-diems for

the full duration of festivals and potentially

beyond, in the interest of allowing artists to

network, imbue themselves with new places

and envision new ideas without the stress of

having to return home immediately


Introduction Mapping

and Background



This mapping lists

108 arts spaces and venues,

and 69 festivals

across North Africa.




graphs and


















Cultural Venues

in North Africa


Date: October 2019


This mapping covers

six countries in North Africa

and the non-self-governing

territory of Western Sahara.







& Equipment

of the Venues

This mapping covers arts spaces and venues that

have the capacity to host mobility projects, with

a focus on the visual and performing arts. It is a

working document and as such may be built upon

in future studies.

City, Country


Algiers, Algeria

· aria artist residency in Algiers

· Artissimo

· Ateliers NAS

· Ateliers Sauvages

· La Baignoire

· Opéra d’Alger

· Théâtre municipal Alger centre

(formerly salle Echabab)

· Théâtre national algérien

· Théâtre de verdure Lâadi Flici

· Salle Ibn Zeydoun

Alexandria, Egypt

· El Madina for Performing and Digital Arts

· Gudran for Art and Development

· Jesuit Cultural Centre

· Library of Alexandria

· MASS Alexandria

· Reflection for Art, Training and Development

· Rézodance




Cairo, Egypt

· AfriCairo

· Almoharek Booking Agency

· Cairo Contemporary Dance Center

· Contemporary Image Collective

· Cairo Opera House

· Darb 1718

· El Mastaba Theatre

· El Sawy Culture Wheel

· Emad Eddin Foundation/

Studio Emad Eddin

· Ezzat Ezzat Contemporary Dance Studio

· Falaki Theatre

· Makan Centre for Culture & Art

· Medrar for Contemporary Art

· Out of the Circle Initiative

· Townhouse Gallery / Rawabet

Fayoum, Egypt

· Fayoum Art Centre

Tripoli, Libya

· Ali Gana Foundation and Museum

· Art House

· WaraQ Art Foundation

Benghazi, Libya

· Tanarout

Nouakchott, Mauritania

· ArtGalléAmySow

· Échos du Sahel

· Maison des cinéastes

· Traversées Mauritanides

Tindouf, Western Sahara

· Motif Arts Studio

· Abidin Kaid Saleh Audiovisual School



City, Country

· Venue

Casabalanca, Morocco

· Atelier de l’observatoire

· L’Boultek

· Casa del Arte

· Cinema Rialto

· Houna

· Le H2/61.26

· La Source du lion

· Les Étoiles (Fondation Ali Zaoua)

· Studio des Arts Vivants

· Studio Hiba

· L’Uzine

· Villa des Arts






Not available

No information available

Rabat, Morocco

· Centre culturel l’Agdal

· Dabateatr

· Fondation Hiba

· L’appartement22

· Le Cube

· Palais Tazi

· Salle Bahnini

· Théâtre Aquarium

· Théâtre national Mohammed V

· Villa des Arts Rabat

· Centre culturel l’Agdal

Marrakesh, Morocco

· Al Maqam

· Dar Saïda Literary space

· Dar Bellarj Foundation

· Le18


· Priscilla Queen of the Medina

Tanger, Morocco

· Atelier Kissaria/Think Tanger

· Cinémathèque de Tanger

· Les Étoiles

· Mahal Art Space

· Spectacle pour tous

· Tabadoul

Tunis, Tunisia

· L’Agora

· Théâtre Al-Hamra /

Centre Arabo-Africain de Recherche

et de Création Théâtrale

· L’Art Rue

· Bchira Art Center

· Cité de la Culture

· El Teatro

· Étoile du Nord, L’

· Lab619

· Lang’art

· Centre des arts vivants de Radès

· CinéMad’art Carthage

· Cinevog

· Maison de la culture Ibn Rachik

· Maison de l’Image

· Le Mondial

· Le Rio

· Salle 4e art/Le Paris

· Théâtre municipal

· Théâtre national tunisien

· WAX Bar

· Dar Eyquem



Events &




1 Festival international de la

Bande-Dessinée à Alger

2 Festival international de

Danse Contemporaine d’Alger

3 Festival international

de la Musique Diwane

4 Festival international du cinéma d’Alger

5 Festival de la création féminine d’Alger

6 Salon du livre d’Alger


7 Festival International de

théâtre de Bejaïa


8 Dimajazz


9 Festival international du

Conte d’Oran

Rotating locations

10 Festival Raconte-arts



11 Theatre is a Must Festival

12 Theatre Without Funds Festival

13 Library of Alexandria Summer Festival

14 Backstreet Festival

15 Nassim el Raqs Creative lab


16 Cairocomix

17 Cairo International Jazz Festival

18 Cairo International Film festival

19 Di-Egy Festival

20 Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival

21 Hakawy Festival for Young Audiences

22 Cairo International Festival for

Contemporary & Experimental Theatre

23 Citadel Music Festival


24 Luxor African Film Festival

Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor

25 2B Continued Lab & Festival


20 8




4 18


19 14 17



24 21 2 15 3 10 23 22 1

16 5

















Events and festivals

of North Africa



1 Agadir International Documentary

Festival (FIDADOC)

2 Festival Timitar


3 Festival international d’art vidéo

4 Jazzablanca

5 L’Boulvard

6 Rencontres chorégraphiques

de Casablanca


7 Festival Gnaoua Rythmes du Monde


8 Atlas Electronic

9 Festival Awaln’art

10 Festival On Marche!

11 Festival Marrakech du Rire

12 Festival international du

film de Marrakech


13 Festival Mawazine

14 Festival international du cinéma d’auteur

15 Visa for Music Africa-Middle

East Music Meeting


16 Tanjazz

17 Youmein Festival


18 Caravane Tighmert



19 Festival Assalamalekoum

20 Nouakshort Film Festival

21 Rencontres littéraires


22 Festival Nomade

Western Sahara


23 Artifariti International Art and Human

Rights Meeting

Refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria

24 FiSahara Film Festival

1 13



10 9 3 18

21 22 19 4 7

2 17 8 5 16 6 24



12 23

















1 Jazz à Carthage

2 Journées d’art contemporain

de Carthage

3 Journées chorégraphiques de Carthage

4 Journées cinématographiques

de Carthage

5 Journées musicales de Carthage

6 Journées poétiques de Carthage

7 Journées théâtrales de Carthage


8 Festival international de Hammamet

9 Festival international de films

de femmes


10 SICCA Jazz


12 Jazz à Tabarka


13 Oasis créatives


14 Salon International de la

Bande Dessinee de Tazarka (SIBDT)


15 Chouftouhonna

International Feminist Art Festival

16 Doc à Tunis

17 Dream City

18 Festival Ezzedine Gannoun

19 Interférences

20 Jaou









11 Festival international du film de Kelibia



Refugee camps

(near Tindouf)



6 10 13

1 16




12 15

11 14 5

9 17

2 19

















Map of Cities


Tabarka Tunis

Bejaïa Kef













& Festivals



Festival international de la

Bande-Dessinée à Alger




Festival international de Danse

Contemporaine d’Alger



Festival de danse contemporaine d’Alger

Facebook page

Festival international de la Musique Diwane



Festival de musique Diwane Facebook page

Festival international du cinéma d’Alger



Festival international de cinéma d’Alger

Facebook page

Festival de la création féminine d’Alger




Salon du livre d’Alger


October / November



Festival International de théâtre de Bejaïa



Festival de théâtre de Bejaïa Facebook page





Dima Jazz Festival Facebook page


Biennale méditerranéenne d’art

contemporain d’Oran

Visual art



Festival international du Conte d’Oran



Festival international de la BD d’Alger Facebook


Le Petit lecteur Facebook page

Rotating locations

Festival Raconte-arts



Festival Raconte-arts Facebook page



Theatre is a Must Festival


March April


Theatre Without Funds Festival



Facebook Page

Library of Alexandria Summer Festival




Backstreet Festival

Performing arts


Nassim el Raqs Creative lab

Dance, performance


Nassim el Raqs Facebook page



Literature, Comics



Cairo International Jazz Festival




Facebook page

Cairo International Film festival




Facebook page

Di-Egy Festival

Digital arts


Facebook page

Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival



Facebook page

Hakawy Festival for Young Audiences



Facebook page

Cairo International Festival for

Contemporary & Experimental Theatre




Facebook page


Luxor African Film Festival




Facebook page

Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor

2B Continued Lab & Festival

Performing arts


Facebook page



Festival Assalamalekoum



Facebook page

Nouakshort Film Festival



Facebook page

Rencontres littéraires




Rotating Locations

Festival Nomade






Agadir International Documentary Festival


Documentary film



Facebook page

Festival Timitar




Facebook page


Festival international d’art vidéo

Video Art



Facebook page





Facebook page





Facebook Page

Rencontres chorégraphiques de Casablanca




Facebook page


Festival Gnaoua Rythmes du Monde





Atlas Electronic


August / September


Facebook Page

Festival Awaln’art

Public Art


Facobook Page

Festival On Marche!



Facebook page

Festival Marrakech du Rire




Facebook page

Festival international du film de Marrakech




Facebook page


Festival Mawazine




Facebook page

Festival international du cinéma d’auteur




Facebook page

Visa for Music Africa-Middle East

Music Meeting




Facebook page






Facebook page

Youmein Festival



Facebook page


Caravane Tighmert




Facebook page



Jazz à Carthage




Facebook page

Journées d’art contemporain de Carthage

Visual Art


Facebook page

Journées chorégraphiques de Carthage


June / July

Facebook page

Journées cinématographiques de Carthage


October / November


Journées musicales de Carthage



Journées poétiques de Carthage




Facebook page

Journées théâtrales de Carthage




Facebook page


Festival international de Hammamet

Performing arts

Organisé par la Compagnie


Facebook Page

Festival international de films de femmes



Facebook Page


& Festivals



Festival international du film de Kelibia


July / August

Facebook page






Facebook page


Jazz à Tabarka


August / September


Facebook page


Oasis créatives

Visual arts


Facebook page


Salon International de la Bande Dessinee

de Tazarka (SIBDT)

Literature, Comics


Facebook page

Western Sahara


Artifariti International Art and Human Rights





Facebook page

Refugee camps

near Tindouf, Algeria

FiSahara Film Festival




Facebook page



aria artist residency in Algiers

Central Alger



aria Facebook page

Fully equipped 100 m 2 apartment


28, rue Didouche Mourad, Alger

+213 (0)770 49 28 41



Artissimo Facebook page

Multidisciplinary arts school,

studios and exhibition space

Ateliers NAS

3, rue Caron, Alger

+213 (0)550 08 85 68


Ateliers NAS - Facebook page

Arts and cultural centre in the heart

of the Casbah, workshops and

residency space

Ateliers Sauvages

43 rue Didouche Mourad, Alger

+213 (0)770 98 38 57


Ateliers Sauvages Facebook page

Exhibition & workshop space, 500 m2

La Baignoire


La Baignoire Facebook page

Alternative arts concept / cultural space,

laboratory within an office setting

Opéra d’Alger

Lot 1, parcelle 515, Ouled Fayet, Alger

+213 (0)23 28 93 63



Opéra d’Alger Facebook page

Sound & light equipment

Capacity: 1400 seats


Théâtre municipal Alger centre

(formerly salle Echabab)

rue Larbi Ben M’hidi, Alger

+213 (0)23 50 81 23

Théâtre d’Alger centre Facebook page

Capacity: 500 seats

Théâtre national algérien

10, rue Hadj Omar, Alger


Sound & light equipment available

Théâtre de verdure Lâadi Flici

2, boulevard du Docteur Frantz Fanon,


+213 (0)21 71 07 28

Sound & light equipment

Parking available

Salle Ibn Zeydoun

Riad El-Feth, El Madania, Alger

+213 (0)21 25 29 10

Salle Ibn Zeydoun Facebook page

Films & concerts

Sound & light equipment

Salle El-Moggar

Allée de la Bonne Fontaine, Alger

+213(0)21 73 61 93

Salle El-Moggar Facebook page

Films & concerts

Sound & light equipment



El Madina for Performing and Digital Arts

6 Fouad St., Al Attarin, Alexandria

+20 (0) 34 87 58 18



Facebook page

Four studios, with a total space of 400 m2

Gudran for Art and Development

1, Mamar El Central St., El Manshia, Alexandria

+20 (0) 34 84 42 26


Residency space

Jesuit Cultural Centre

298 Port Said Street, Cleopatra, Alexandria

+20 (0) 35 21 48 77


Facebook page


Capacity: 160 seats / 200 standing

Library of Alexandria

Al Azaritah WA Ash Shatebi,

Qesm Bab Sharqi, Alexandria

+20 (0) 34 83 99 99



Seminar and conference rooms


Great hall: 1638 Seated

Small theatre: 242 seats

MASS Alexandria

2, El Madina al Monawara, Miamia, Alexandria

+20 (0) 35 56 53 49



Facebook page

400 m 2 exhibition and educational space

Reflection for Art, Training and Development

Masjid Elasdeqaa St. Building No. 84, Flat No. 2,

Garden City Smouha, Alexandria

+20 (0) 34 25 29 76



Facebook page

1 hall, 32 m 2 ,

technical equipment available


15, rue Sésostris, Al Attarine

Opposite Banque du Caire 2nd floor, Alexandria

+ 20 (0) 34 83 53 55



Facebook page

Independent cultural centre, 3 studios



2 Gamal Al Din Abou Al Mahasen,

Qasr an Nile, Cairo

+20 (0)2 27 93 42 09


Facebook page

Small space for recording, workshops and

performances of Afro fusion music and arts

Almoharek Booking Agency

8 Zaki Aboul Seoud St. Agouza, Cairo

+20 (0)2 33 46 88 48



Facebook page

Booking agency for independent Arab music

Cairo Contemporary Dance Center

1 Mousa Galal Square Mohandesin, Cairo

+20 (0)2 33 45 97 37



Facebook page

Independent dance centre with two studios,

hosts residencies

Contemporary Image Collective

4th Floor, 22 Abdel Khalek Tharwat Street,

Downtown Cairo

+20 (0)2 23 96 42 72



Facebook page

Exhibition and workshop spaces

Capacity: 200 seats

Cairo Opera House

El Borg el Guezira, Zamalek

+20 (0)2 27 39 01 44



Facebook page


Capacity: 1.200 seats

Darb 1718

Kasr El Sham3 Street,

Al Fakhareen Old Cairo, Cairo

+20 (0)2 27 41 30 53



Facebook page

Two exhibition spaces, stage,

gardens, terrace

El Mastaba Theatre

30 A El Belaasy St, Abdeen, Cairo

+20 (0) 11 50 99 53 54



Facebook page


El Sawy Culture Wheel

26th of July street, Zamalek, Egypt

+20 (0) 10 00 99 99 95



Facebook page

Cultural centre with five stages

Fully equipped

Capacity: 1.500 seats

Emad Eddin Foundation/Studio Emad Eddin

18 Emad Eddin Street, Ataba, Downtown Cairo

+20 (0) 2 25 76 38 50



Facebook page

Four rehearsal, workshop spaces

organizes residencies

Ezzat Ezzat Contemporary Dance Studio

6 Obida Ben Elgarah St., Faisal, El-Giza

+20 (0)2 35 84 46 63



Facebook page

Studios & apartment

Capacity: 60 seats


Falaki Theatre

American University in Cairo,

Downtown Campus,

24 Falaki St., Downtown Cairo

+20 (0) 12 88 72 14 46

Exhibition Space,Rehearsal space,

Screening Room, Theater

Makan Centre for Culture & Art

1 Sharia Saad Zaghloul

Mounira, Cairo

+20 (0)2 27 92 08 78



Cultural centre

Capacity: 70 120 seats

Medrar for Contemporary Art

7 Gamal El Din Abou El Mahasen St.

Garden City, 1st Floor, Apt.4, Cairo

+20 (0)2 27 95 77 14



Facebook page

Exhibition space, workshop spaces

Out of the Circle Initiative

11 El-Reyad street, Mohandeseen, Cairo



Facebook page

Cultural centre with a residency space

for digital artists

Townhouse Gallery / Rawabet

Nabarawy Street, off Champollion,

Downtown, Cairo

+20 (0)2 25 76 80 86



Facebook page

Rehearsal space, Screening Room, theatre

Capacity: 150 people


Fayoum Art Centre

Tunis village, Fayoum

+20 (0) 11 20 02 12 13


Facebook page

Studio spaces, art library, residency space




ANAT lot 775 Iskane Socogim plage, Nouakchott


Facebook page

Founded and run by painter Amy Sow

Art gallery, residency space and café

Échos du Sahel

Route de la Plage, Cité Plage,

facing Clinique Bouna, Nouakchott

+222 (0)27 05 96 87


Facebook page

Multidisciplinary cultural centre, hosting

residencies, performances, workshops

Espace culturel Diadie Tabara Camara

Ksar, Nouakchott

+222 (0)47 51 48 92

Facebook page

Multidisciplinary space for meetings,

exchanges and knowledge sharing

Maison des cinéastes

Ilot A, Rue 410-05, Nouakchott

+222 (0)525 68 68


Facebook page

Screening room and cultural centre, hosting

trainings, workshops, screenings, etc.

Traversées Mauritanides

BP 7663, Nouakchott

+222 (0)45 49 03 38



Literary organization, organizes Rencontres

littéraires de Nouakchott festival



Atelier de l’observatoire

62 Boulevard Bir Anzarane, Casablanca

+212 (0) 6 10 32 88 04



Facebook page

Residency & workshop space in Bouskoura

(32 km from Casablanca)


Technopark, Route de Nouaceur, Sidi Maarouf


+212 (0) 6 99 63 67 99



Facebook page

Fully-equipped recording studios and

performance space

120 seats / 250 standing

Casa del Arte

7 rue Franceville Oasis, Casablanca

+212 (0) 5 22 99 09 36

+212 (0) 5 22 98 46 57



Facebook page

7 multi-purpose rooms and patio

Cinema Rialto

20 Rue Mohamed El Quorri, Casablanca

+212 (0) 6 34 75 09 83


Facebook page

Cinema and cultural space




Facebook page

Cultural incubator & residency space

Le H2/61.26

61, avenue Hassan II, floor 11, Casablanca

+212 (0)6 78 32 80 08

Facebook page

Exhibition and cultural space

La Source du lion

336, rue Mustapha al Maani, Casablanca

+212 (0) 6 73 62 08 10 / 06


Facebook page

Workshop, exhibition, residency space

Les Étoiles (Fondation Ali Zaoua)

Bd Mohamed Zefzaf, Attacharouk

Sidi Moumen, Casablanca

+212 (0) 5 22 72 49 23



Facebook page

Fully equipped auditorium, screening room,

residency space, rehearsal spaces

Studio des Arts Vivants

38, Boulevard Abdelhadi Boutaleb, Casablanca

+212 (0) 6 66 65 32 02

+212 (0) 5 22 97 93 20


Capacity: 600 seats

Fully equipped

2 parking lots

Studio Hiba

Bd Ahl loghlam, Sidi Bernoussi, Casablanca

+212 (0) 5 22 74 27 17 / 18



Fully equipped recording and production studios,

and residency space with 5 rooms


19 boulevard Mouatamid Ibnou Abbad,

ancienne route de Rabat,

Aïn Sebâa, Casablanca

+212 (0) 5 22 66 01 66

Facebook page

Exhibition space, performance space

Fully equipped

Capacity: 130 seats / 200 standing

Villa des Arts

30, Boulevard Brahim Roudani, Casablanca

+212 (0) 5 22 29 50 87/94


Exhibition and performance space

372 Avenue Colonel Mondjiba

+ 243 81 878 50 72

Lieu d’exposition, de projections,

boutique et café.


Centre culturel l’Agdal

Rue Amir Abdelkader, Rabat

+212 (0) 5 37 67 28 66

Facebook page

Exhibition hall, residency space,

projection room, recording studios

Capacity: (172 seats)


Technopark , 8 Rue Ghandi, Hassane-Rabat

+212 (0)6 00 05 06 22


Facebook page

Multidisciplinary arts organization

Fondation Hiba

360, Bd Mohamed V, Rabat

+212 (0) 5 37 73 80 49


Facebook page

Salle Renaissance: fully equipped cinema

and theatre

Capacity: 382 seats

Hiba Lab

(See also Hiba studios in Casablanca


279 avenue Mohamed V, Rabat

+212 (0)6 63 59 82 88


Facebook page

multidisciplinary rehearsal and workshop space

Residency and exhibition space

Le Cube

2, rue Benzerte, Rabat

+212 (0)6 61 18 64 41



Facebook page

Residency and exhibition space

Palais Tazi

2, rue El Quds, Rabat

+212 (0) 6 66 75 92 56

Facebook page

For large events

Salle Bahnini

1n rue Ghandi, Rabat

+ 212 (0) 5 37 20 94 94

Facebook page

Managed by the Ministry of Culture

Auditorium capacity: 600 seats

Théâtre Aquarium

12 rue Ezzaouia, Rabat

+212 (0) 5 37 69 41 09


Facebook page

Small theatre, gallery, meeting spaces

Théâtre national Mohammed V

172, Avenue Al Mansour Addahbi, Rabat

+ 212 (0) 5 37 70 73 00


State theatre

Villa des Arts Rabat

10, rue Beni Mellal, corner Av Mohamed V., Rabat

+212 (0) 5 37 66 85 79-82


Exhibition and performance space

Centre culturel l’Agdal

Rue Amir Abdelkader, Rabat

+212 (0) 5 37 67 28 66

Facebook page

Exhibition hall, residency space,

projection room, recording studios

Capacity: 172 seats


Al Maqam

El Mgassem, Marrakech Tensift Al Haouz,



Facebook page

Residency space, 10 rooms

Dar Saïda Literary space

97 rue Tansift Quartier Semlalia, Marrakesh

+212 (0) 5 24 43 63 60



Facebook page

Conference halls, café

Dar Bellarj Foundation

9 7, Toualate Zaouiate Lahdar Médina,


+212 (0) 5 24 44 45 55


Facebook Page

Exhibition and workshop space


18, Derb El Ferrane Riad Laarouss, Marrakesh

+212 (0) 5 24 38 98 64



Facebook page

Residency and exhibition space


Al Maaden, Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, Marrakech

+212 (0) 6 76 92 44 92



Facebook page

Contemporary African art museum

with residency space

Priscilla Queen of the Medina

27 Derb el Ferrane Azbezt, Marrakesh

+212 (0) 6 21 51 49 05



Facebook page

Working space, presentation space,



Atelier Kissaria/Think Tanger



Facebook page

150 m 2 space for creation and production

centering on experimental and artisanal printing

techniques. Also hosts residencies.

Cinémathèque de Tanger

Grand Socco Place du 9 avril 1947, Tanger

+212 (0)5 39 93 46 83



Facebook page

Two screening rooms and café

Capacity: 300 seats / 50 seats

Les Étoiles

29, Rue Aicha Al Moussafir Beni Makada, Tanger

+212 (0)6 11 30 95 29



Fully equipped auditorium, screening room,

residency space, rehearsal spaces


Mahal Art Space

122, Avenue Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah,

Local B, Tanger

+212 (0)6 91 58 29 53


Facebook page

Exhibition and residency space

Spectacle pour tous


Facebook page

Theatre schoolbus, small permanent

rehearsal space


19, rue Magellan, Tanger

+212 (0)6 64 73 21 73



Facebook page

400 m2 multi-purpose performance,

rehearsal and residency space

Two rooms:

Large room for performances: 140 m 2

and small for meetings: 30 m 2

workshops etc.



Ali Gana Foundation and Museum


Facebook page

Founded by artist Hadia Gana

The museum is under construction

Art House

Triq el Sikka, Tripoli

+218 (0)2 13 60 44 77

Facebook page

Popular gallery space and meeting place since

the 1990s. Sometimes hosts screenings and

other events.

WaraQ Art Foundation

+218 (0)9 23 06 32 78



Facebook page

NGO organizing exhibitions, workshops,

trainings around contemporary art



Alhadaiyq, Benghazi

+218 (0)9 13 84 90 03



Facebook page

Large multi-purpose cultural space,

used for concerts, exhibitions, studios,

screenings, rehearsals, etc.




5 avenue Taïeb Mhiri Marsa Ville

+216 (0)29 912 123



Facebook page

Cinema, performance, exhibition space

Théâtre Al-Hamra / Centre Arabo-Africain de

Recherche et de Création Théâtrale

28 rue d’El Jazira

+216 (0)71 320 734


Facebook page

Fully equipped theatre, training centre

L’Art Rue

40, rue Kouttab Louzir Tunis medina

+216 (0)29 212 775



Facebook page

Residency space, workshops,

performances, exhibitions

Bchira Art Center

Sabelet Ben Ammar, on the road to Sidi Tabet,


+216 (0)71 527 767


Facebook page

Gallery space : 200 m 2

Capacity : 200 seats / 400 standing

Parking available


Bhar Lazreg, Tunis



Exhibition space: 500 m 2 , projection room, space

for resident artists, library and café

Centre des Musiques Arabes

et Méditerranéennes

8, rue du 2 mars 1934, Sidi bou Said


Multidisciplinary cultural complex with two

performance spaces

Capacity: 230 seats (indoor), 600 seats (outdoor)

Cité de la Culture

Avenue Mohamed 5, Tunis

+216 (0)70 028 330



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Sound & light equipment

Opera: 1800 seats

Auditorium: 700 seats

Theatre: 400 seats

Music production studios

El Teatro

Le Belvédère, Tunis

+216 (0)71 894 313


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El Teatro main space: 250 seats

Carré d’art: 100 seats

Exhibition space

L’Étoile du Nord

41 Avenue de Farhat-Hached, Tunis

+216 (0)71 256 242

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Capacity: 300 400 seats / 600 standing

La Boîte

Z.I. La Charguia, Tunis

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Exhibition space



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Comic and graphic novel collective, organize

residencies, workshops


36, rue 18 janvier 1952, Tunis

+216 (0)58 088 048


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Rehearsal studio with stage, 70m 2

Centre des arts vivants de Radès

1, rue du Pakistan, Tunis

+216 (0)71 441 727



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Workshop spaces, photography lab,

three individual workshops for

resident artists, exhibition space

CinéMad’art Carthage

2, rue Pline, Carthage

+216 (0)71 275 210


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Cinema and theatre


10 rue Said Abou Bakr Le Kram


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Cinema and theatre

Maison de la culture Ibn Rachik

20, Avenue de Paris, Tunis

+216 (0)71 338 952


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Exhibition and performance space

Maison de l’Image

40 Rue Tarak Ibn Zied

Mutuelleville, Aryanah

+216 (0)71 84 05 36



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Workshop, exhibition, residency space

Le Mondial

20, rue Ibn Khaldoun, Tunis

+216 (0)95 159 568


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Cinema, performance space

Le Rio

92, rue Radhia Haddad, Tunis

+216 (0)70 038 033


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Cinema, theatre


Complexe Trinidad Gammarth, Tunis

+216 (0)25 508 109


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Popular bar/club and show venue


Dar Eyquem


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Residency space

Western Sahara


Motif Arts Studio

Samara Refugee Camp,

near Tindouf, Algeria

+213 (0)6 68 37 15 96

Art space run by multidisciplinary

artist Mohamed Sulaiman

Abidin Kaid Saleh Audiovisual School

Dakhla Refugee Camp,

near Tindouf, Algeria



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Film & audiovisual training centre for Sahrawi

refugees. Affiliated with FiSahara Film Festival.

Salle 4e art/Le Paris

27, avenue de Paris, Tunis

+216 (0)50 609 460

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Theatre and exhibition space

Sound & light equipment

Capacity: 350 seats

Théâtre municipal

2, rue de Grèce, Tunis

+216 (0)71 259 499

Facebook page

Capacity: 1350 seats

Théâtre national tunisien

58 Place Halfaouine, Tunis,

+216 (0)71 565 693

Facebook page

Theatre, studios






We speak Arabic, whereas

artists in other African regions

speak French. It’s true that

we’re an African country but

we feel like we’re more part

of the MENA region.

Mohamed Guediri

Rapper, founder of Association

Cité’Ness, Tunis*





AARC—Agence Algérienne pour le Rayonnement Culturel

AFAC—Arab Fund for Arts and Culture

AMA—Art Moves Africa

AU—African Union

ECF—European Cultural Foundation

ENP—European Neighbourhood Policy

EU—European Union

MASA—Marché des Arts et du Spectacle, Abidjan

MENA—Middle East and North Africa

MENASA—Middle East, North Africa and South Asia

NGO—Non-governmental organization

OIF—Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie

RAM—Royal Air Maroc

RCF—Roberto Cimetta Fund

SADR—Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic






List of 90 artists

and cultural operators




Some individuals


in their capacity

as independent

practitioners; some on


of their organizations;

and some, both.








· Ammar Bouras

Photographer, Algiers

· Arslan Naili

Visual artist,

Founder of Atelier N.A.S., Algiers

· Mouna Bennamani

Visual artist, Algiers

· Hacène Metref

Director Festival Raconte-Arts, Tizi Ouzou

· Houari Bouchenak

Photographer, Collectif 220, Tlemcen / Algiers

· Louise Dib

Graphic designer, Algiers

· Riad Abdelouahab

Graphic designer, Algiers

· Malik Chaoui

Co-project manager, Groupe de travail sur la

politique culturelle en Algérie, Algiers

· Mehdi Djelil

Visual artist, Algiers

· Meriem Bouraoui

Slam poet, Algiers

· Myriam Amroun

Cultural project manager, Algiers

· Sadek Bouzinou

Singer/songwriter, Democratoz, Oran/Dakar

· Samy Abdelguerfi

Booker, cultural policy researcher,

Groupe de travail sur la politique culturelle

en Algérie, Algiers / Paris

· Walid Aidoud

Visual artist, founder of Box24, Algiers

· Wassyla Tamzali

Founder and artistic director,

Les Ateliers Sauvages, Algiers

· Zafira Ouartsi

Founder and director, Artissimo, Algiers


· Abdelsamee Abdallah

Cultural activist and theatre practitioner,

ActionAid, Cairo/Amman

· Adel Abdelwahab

Artistic director, Hewar for Independent

Theater & Performing Arts, Alexandria

· Ahmed Eldeeb

Co-founder Director, Reflection for

Arts Training & Development, Alexandria

· Ahmed Omar

Bassist, founder of AfriCairo

· Amany El Sawy

Associate Professor and playwright,

Alexandria University

· Andrea Thal

Artistic director,

Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo

· Basem Abuarab

Executive director, Al Moharek Booking Agency

for Independent Arabic Music, Cairo

· Berit Schuck

Programme director, MASS Alexandria

· Dia Hamed

Visual artist and co-founder, Medrar Centre for

Contemporary Art, Cairo

· Elham Khattab

digital artist and co-founder,

Out of the Circle, Cairo

· Ghada El Sherbiny

Cultural programming

Goethe Institut Kairo

· Laila Soliman

Playwright and director, Cairo

· Mohamed Ghazala

Professor, Vice President of the International

Association of Animation filmmakers (ASIFA),

Cairo /Jeddah



· Mohammed Hassan

Sound engineer, IICI Consulting, Cairo

· Nada Sabet

Theatre director, co-founder,

Noon Creative Enterprise

· Reem Hassan

Visual artist and co-founder, EAN Group for

International Artistic Cooperation, Cairo

· Yara Mekawei

Sound artist and DJ, Radio Submarine, Cairo


· Abdul Mohaimen Zarrough

Photographer and cultural manager, Tripoli

· Dina Gallal

Photographer and visual artist, Benghazi

· Faiza Ramadan

Visual artist, Tripoli

· Faraj Alsileeni

Drummer, Director of Tanarout, Benghazi

· Mohamed Busneina

Drummer, Content Developer &

Head of Music Dept., Tanarout

· Najlaa El-Ageli

Architect, Founder of Noon Arts Projects,


· Sihem Saleh

Architect and cartoonist, Tripoli

· Tewa Barnosa

Visual artist and founder of

WaraQ Art Foundation, Tripoli/Berlin


· Atigh Ould

Founder and artistic director,

Festival Nomade

· Mohamed Idoumou

Poet, journalist, documentary filmmaker

and cultural operator, Maison du cinéma de



· Amina Mourid

Cultural operator, co-founder,

Atelier Kissaria & Think Tanger

· Abdessamad Bourhim

l’Uzine, Bassist / stage manager

& technician, Casablanca

· Ahlam El Morsli

Dancer and choreographer,

Compagnie Col’Jam, Casablanca

· Bouchra Salih

Independent cultural operator & designer,


· Brahim El Mazned

Director of Visa for Music, Rabat

· Carlos Marin

Director of Caravane Tighmert, Ceuta

· Dounia Jouhar

l’Uzine, Communications manager,


· Ghita Khaldi

Director of Afrikayna, Casablanca

· Hicham Bahou

Co-director of EAC-L’Boulvard,


· Hosni Almoukhlis

Theatre practitioner, Founder and Artistic

Director, Théâtre de l’Opprimé, Casablanca

· Hind Benali

Dancer and choreographer, Compagnie Fleur

d’orange, Casablanca/Nouméa

· Javier Galván Guijo

Director, Instituto Cervantes, Rabat

· Laila Hida

Photographer and co-founder, Le18, Marrakech

· Jamal Abdenassar

Independent cultural operator/Founder of

Casablanca Fashion Week, Casablanca

· Léa Morin

Curator and researcher, co-founder and

director of L’Atelier de l’observatoire,


· Maria Daïf

Independent cultural operator, Casablanca

· Mehdi Azdem

Managing director, Racines

· Mohamed Lâabidi

Musician, L’Uzine

· Nouha Ben Yadri

Curator and founder, Mahal Art Space, Tangiers

· Sabrina Kamili

Project manager, L’Atelier de l’observatoire,


· Silvia Coarelli

Founder, Tabadoul, Tanger

· Zineb Benjelloun

Visual artist, Casablanca

· Zineb Haddaji

Project manager, L’Uzine


· Abir Gasmi

Graphic novelist, co-founder, Lab619, Tunis

· Asma Kaouech

Executive director, Fanni Raghman Anni, Tunis

· Bahri Ben Yahmed

Dancer and choreographer, co-founder,

Danseurs Citoyens / Lang’art, Tunis

· Béatrice Dunoyer

Program director, L’Art Rue, Tunis

· Cyrine Gannoun

Theatre actor and director, Director,

Théâtre Al-Hamra/Centre arabo-africain

de formation et de recherche théâtrales, Tunis

· Hafedh Zallit

Dancer and choreographer, H-Prod, Tunis

· Hamdi Ryder

DJ, Downtown Vibes collective, Tunis

· Leila Toubel

Theatre actor, dramaturg and activist, Tunis

· Lil’Jack

DJ, Downtown Vibes collective, Tunis

· Malek Sebaï

Dancer and choreographer, co-founder,

Association Hayyou’Raqs, Tunis

· Mariem Guellouz

Dancer and researcher,

Director of Les Journées chorégraphiques

de Carthage, Tunis/Paris

· Mohamed Ben Soltane

Visual artist, cultural manager and curator, Tunis

· Mohamed Guediri

Rapper, Founder of Cité’Ness Association,


· Ouafa Belgacem

Cultural resource mobilization expert, CEO of

Culture Funding Watch, Tunis

· Rania Sdiri

Cultural operator, Tunisian Culture Network,


· Shiran Ben Abderrazak

Executive Director, Fondation Rambourg, Tunis

· Wadi Mhiri

Visual artist, Tunis


· Mohamed Sulaiman

Photographer and visual artist,

Motif arts studio, Samara refugee camp,



· Angie Cotte

Secretary General, Roberto Cimetta Fund, Paris

· Ayman Helmy

Programs manager,

Al Mawred Al-Thaqafy, Beirut

· Gitte Zschosch

Director, EUNIC Brussels

· Johanna Keller

Head of Unit, Goethe Institut (former Director of

Cultural Programme, Goethe-Kairo)

· Noémi Kahn

Assistant Director, Network of Alternative Arab

Screens, Beirut

· Pia Chaib

Program coordinator, Wijhat, Al Mawred

Al- Thaqafy, Beirut



Compagnie O performs Corbeaux, choreographed and directed by Bouchra Ouizguen.

Photo courtesy of Hasnae El Ouarga / Compagnie O






Books, studies, articles,

reports on mobility, migration,

history and culture








Azzahrae, Fatima and El Ghayam, Sellama (2001).

“Morocco,” in Culture Resource/Al Mawred

Al-Thaqafy, European Cultural Foundation and

Boekmanstudies (eds.), Cultural Policies in Algeria,

Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine,

Syria and Tunisia: an Introduction, p. 126 149.

2. Barcelona Declaration (1995).



3. Belgacem, Ouafa (2001). “Tunisia,” in Cultural

Policies in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon,

Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia: an Introduction,

p. 26 50.

4. Benslimane, Dounia (2014). “Morocco Country

Report,” Technical Assistance Unit of Med Culture

Programme for the promotion of culture as

vector of Human, Social and Economic Development

in South Mediterranean Countries.


5. Boukrouh, Makhlouf and Kessab, Ammar (2010).

“Algeria,” in Cultural Policies in Algeria, Egypt,

Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and

Tunisia: an Introduction, p. 26 50.

6. North African Cultural Mobility Map (2019).


7. El Batraoui, Menha and Khafagui, Nermeen

(2010). “Egypt,” in Cultural Policies in Algeria,

Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine,

Syria and Tunisia: an Introduction, p. 26 50.



8. El Bennaoui, Khadija (2018). “Surviving the

paradoxes of mobility,” UNESCO Global

Report, https://en.unesco.org/creativity/


p. 107 123.

9. El Hamrani, Issandr (2001). “Cultural politics

and cultural policy in the Arab world,” in

Cultural Policies in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan,

Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia:

an Introduction, p. 13 22.

10. Freedom House Country Reports (2019).


11. Freemuse Country Reports (2019).


12. Furjani, Reem (2018). “Libya Country Report,”

Technical Assistance Unit of Med Culture

Programme for the promotion of culture as

vector of Human, Social and Economic Development

in South Mediterranean Countries.

13. Gana, Hadia (2014). “Filling the Gaps: Arts

Infrastructure and Institutions in Libya Post-

Dictatorship,” Ibraaz, http://www.ibraaz.


14. Kessab, Ammar (2014). “Algeria Country

Report,” Technical Assistance Unit of Med

Culture Programme for the promotion of culture

as vector of Human, Social and Economic

Development in South Mediterranean Countries.



15. El-Tahri, Jihan and Kouoh, Koyo (2015). “Opening

Remarks by Koyo Kouoh and Keynote

Address by Jihan El-Tahri,” 1:54 Forum, London.



16. Malka, Haim (2018). “Destination Maghreb:

Changing Migration Patterns in North Africa,”

Center for Strategic and International

Studies. https://www.csis.org/analysis/


17. Martins, Sara (2011). “The border of arts

reflections on the state of the art of artistic

mobility in Africa,” presented at Research

Workshop 5: State of Arts in Africa and South

America, 11&12 May 2011.

18. Mtimet, Walid (2014). “Tunisia Country Report,”

Technical Assistance Unit of Med Culture

Programme for the promotion of culture

as vector of Human, Social and Economic

Development in South Mediterranean Countries.



19. On the Move & Arab Education Forum (2017).

Cultural Mobility Funding Guide: Arab countries.



20. Fazeulaa, Hossam (2018). “Egypt Country

Report,” Technical Assistance Unit of Med

Culture Programme for the promotion of culture

as vector of Human, Social and Economic

Development in South Mediterranean Countries.



21. Wiesand, Andreas / ERICarts Institute (2008).

Mobility Matters Programmes and Schemes

to Support the Mobility of Artists and Cultural

Professionals. A Study for the European Commission,

Directorate-General for Education

and Culture. Bonn: ERICarts Institute.

22. The Informal Meeting of Independent Cultural

Spaces in the Arab World (2011). Young

Arab Theatre Fund. Independent Arts And

Culture Spaces In The Arab World. http://







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