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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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38<br />

Summary of Outcomes<br />

—<br />

3.<br />

LACK OF INTEREST OR MOTIVATION /<br />

PREFERENCE FOR TRAVEL TO EUROPE<br />

—<br />

When asked why they thought mobility is weak with<strong>in</strong><br />

the region <strong>and</strong> especially with respect to other <strong>Africa</strong>n<br />

regions, most respondents noted that artists <strong>and</strong> cultural<br />

operators associate mobility with travel to Europe.<br />

Aggravat<strong>in</strong>g factors <strong>in</strong>clude:<br />

a) Europe’s geographical proximity: some respondents<br />

noted that Europe felt “closer” than<br />

the rest of the <strong>Africa</strong>n cont<strong>in</strong>ent.<br />

—<br />

QUOTE:<br />

« Ever s<strong>in</strong>ce the Barcelona process,<br />

<strong>and</strong> all the other measures taken<br />

to regionalize the Mediterranean,<br />

to make it a geo-politico-cultural<br />

space, artists have <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly<br />

wanted to travel <strong>North</strong> rather<br />

than South. »<br />

Malek Sebaï<br />

Dancer <strong>and</strong> choreographer,<br />

co-founder, Associations Danseurs<br />

Citoyens <strong>and</strong> Hayyou’Raqs, Tunis*<br />

—<br />

b) Lower costs for travel to Europe make it<br />

possible for <strong>in</strong>dependent cultural actors to<br />

cover travel costs themselves <strong>in</strong> the absence<br />

of mobility fund<strong>in</strong>g (although this avenue is<br />

be<strong>in</strong>g jeopardized by visa restrictions).<br />

c) <strong>Art</strong>ists’ precarity <strong>and</strong> the precarity of the<br />

arts sector underlie many aspirations to a<br />

European career.<br />

d) Regionalization of the Euro-Mediterranean space <strong>and</strong> separation<br />

of “<strong>North</strong> <strong>Africa</strong>” <strong>and</strong> “Sub-Saharan <strong>Africa</strong>,” namely through<br />

fund<strong>in</strong>g agendas (see Introduction & Methodology, Key terms).<br />

e) The relative weight traditionally held by bilateral cooperation<br />

<strong>in</strong>stitutes <strong>in</strong> facilitat<strong>in</strong>g mobility projects.<br />

f) More plentiful tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g opportunities <strong>in</strong> Europe <strong>and</strong> the associated<br />

prestige.<br />

g) Misconceptions about everyday life <strong>in</strong> Sub-Saharan <strong>Africa</strong>: some<br />

respondents noted that Sub-Saharan <strong>Africa</strong> is associated with<br />

poor work<strong>in</strong>g conditions <strong>and</strong> uncomfortable accommodation, if<br />

not war <strong>and</strong> disease, <strong>in</strong> the more extreme cases of misconception<br />

<strong>and</strong> prejudice (see #4, Difficulty Identify<strong>in</strong>g With <strong>Africa</strong>n<br />

Identity / Discrim<strong>in</strong>ation).<br />

h) Misconceptions about the arts sector <strong>in</strong> <strong>Africa</strong>: some respondents<br />

reported that artists <strong>and</strong> cultural operators <strong>in</strong> their<br />

milieus believed that noth<strong>in</strong>g happens <strong>in</strong> <strong>Africa</strong> <strong>in</strong> terms of arts<br />

<strong>and</strong> culture.

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