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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71<br />

Country-Specific Information<br />

<strong>Mobility</strong> projects:<br />

many hav<strong>in</strong>g been destroyed or ab<strong>and</strong>oned by<br />

successive authoritarian regimes. The Institut<br />

Français cont<strong>in</strong>ues to have the most comprehensive<br />

facilities, although the Egyptian <strong>and</strong><br />

Moroccan cultural centres are used as well.<br />

Some cultural centres <strong>and</strong> youth centres are<br />

used by local artists but lack equipment.<br />

In the literary field, Traversées Mauritanides<br />

organizes literacy <strong>in</strong>itiatives, publishes<br />

books <strong>and</strong> organizes a yearly literary festival. La<br />

Maison des c<strong>in</strong>éastes is one of Nouakchott’s<br />

most vibrant associations, organiz<strong>in</strong>g film<br />

screen<strong>in</strong>gs, tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gs <strong>and</strong> an annual festival.<br />

Other art forms are marg<strong>in</strong>alized, be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

associated with colonization. Nevertheless, small<br />

galleries <strong>and</strong> visual art spaces are emerg<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Échos du Sahel <strong>and</strong> pa<strong>in</strong>ter Amy Sow’s <strong>Art</strong>Gallé<br />

are two such spaces to watch. F<strong>in</strong>ally, Centre<br />

Diadie Tabara Camara is creat<strong>in</strong>g music projects<br />

for formerly enslaved peoples <strong>in</strong> Nouakchott,<br />

us<strong>in</strong>g music as a vehicle of empowerment, expression<br />

<strong>and</strong> human rights defense.<br />

—<br />


—<br />



Mauritanian artists travel pr<strong>in</strong>cipally to three<br />

dest<strong>in</strong>ations: France, Morocco <strong>and</strong> Senegal.<br />

However, exchange with Mali, Tunisia <strong>and</strong> Egypt<br />

has become more common <strong>in</strong> recent years. <strong>Art</strong>ists<br />

are drawn to Tunisia for its theatre scene, while<br />

Casablanca <strong>and</strong> Dakar’s dynamic music scenes<br />

attract contemporary Mauritanian musicians.<br />

Despite long distances, artists travel to<br />

Dakar, Bamako <strong>and</strong> Banjul by car. Most flight<br />

connections are to Dakar <strong>and</strong> Casablanca, but<br />

TunisAir now also connects Nouakchott to Tunis.<br />

Filmmaker Hamed<strong>in</strong>e Kane participated <strong>in</strong><br />

Kaw-Kaw residency at Le18 <strong>in</strong> Marrakech.<br />

Poet, journalist <strong>and</strong> filmmaker Mohamed<br />

Idoumou has visited roughly 38 countries,<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g meet<strong>in</strong>gs across <strong>North</strong> <strong>Africa</strong>.<br />

—<br />

QUOTE:<br />

« The M<strong>in</strong>istry of Culture organizes a festival<br />

<strong>in</strong> each of the 4 historic cities; those are the<br />

events that are the best funded by banks,<br />

cooperation <strong>in</strong>stitutes <strong>and</strong> local companies, but<br />

they’re very poorly organized. They are made<br />

for the President to give a speech; they br<strong>in</strong>g big<br />

artists from the Arab world who don’t necessarily<br />

need to travel »<br />

Mohamed Idoumou<br />

Poet, journalist, documentary filmmaker<br />

<strong>and</strong> cultural operator, Maison du c<strong>in</strong>éma de<br />

Nouakchott*<br />

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