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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6<br />

Foreword<br />

FORE —<br />

WORD<br />

In a world where freedom<br />

is better guaranteed<br />

for goods <strong>and</strong><br />

digital products than for human be<strong>in</strong>gs, more <strong>and</strong> more<br />

people are be<strong>in</strong>g condemned to watch as the space of<br />

their fundamental rights <strong>and</strong> freedoms shr<strong>in</strong>ks. Many<br />

of them have been forced to flee wars, climate change<br />

or oppressive regimes. It is often their freedom of movement<br />

that is most threatened, as travel restrictions<br />

multiply <strong>in</strong> the face of ris<strong>in</strong>g anti-migration sentiments.<br />

Cultural diversity has never been <strong>in</strong> as much danger as<br />

it is <strong>in</strong> today’s polarized world.<br />

Strategically positioned at the crossroads of Europe,<br />

<strong>Africa</strong> <strong>and</strong> Asia, <strong>North</strong> <strong>Africa</strong> is one of the regions that<br />

is most significantly affected by ongo<strong>in</strong>g tensions <strong>in</strong> the<br />

geopolitical arena. The first spark of the Arab upris<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> 2010 <strong>in</strong> Tunisia is still cours<strong>in</strong>g through the whole<br />

region. It has brought hope, with high-spirited <strong>and</strong><br />

creative civic <strong>in</strong>itiatives led ma<strong>in</strong>ly by young people. Yet<br />

restrictions on the freedom of movement <strong>and</strong> speech<br />

of its people have also reached their highest peaks <strong>in</strong><br />

the last decade.<br />

This mapp<strong>in</strong>g study is a contribution by AMA to shed<br />

light on the actors <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>itiatives that are striv<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

revive historical connections <strong>and</strong> build new bridges<br />

between <strong>North</strong> <strong>Africa</strong> <strong>and</strong> the rest of the cont<strong>in</strong>ent, as<br />

a form of resistance but also as a means of unlearn<strong>in</strong>g<br />

colonial modes of relat<strong>in</strong>g with the regions south of the<br />

Sahara <strong>and</strong> north of the Mediterranean. This study is<br />

the 4th volume of AMA’s mapp<strong>in</strong>g series, which aims<br />

to address the obstacles to artistic mobility with<strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>Africa</strong> by provid<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>formation on the <strong>in</strong>frastructures,<br />

the <strong>in</strong>stitutional <strong>and</strong> fund<strong>in</strong>g frameworks as well as<br />

the challenges <strong>and</strong> opportunities l<strong>in</strong>ked with mobility<br />

on the cont<strong>in</strong>ent.<br />

We hope this study will help <strong>in</strong>form both practitioners<br />

<strong>and</strong> policy makers on the ways to promote <strong>and</strong> support<br />

artistic mobility with<strong>in</strong> <strong>Africa</strong>.<br />

Khadija El Bennaoui<br />

AMA Director

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