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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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74<br />

Country-Specific Information<br />

—<br />

FUNDING<br />

—<br />

The M<strong>in</strong>istry of Culture is said to offer fund<strong>in</strong>g, but<br />

procedures <strong>and</strong> budgets are not clear <strong>and</strong> funds<br />

are poorly organized. <strong>Art</strong>ists reportedly depend<br />

heavily on cooperation <strong>in</strong>stitutes, embassies <strong>and</strong><br />

festival <strong>in</strong>vitations to travel. Mauritanians are very<br />

little represented <strong>in</strong> AMA’s statistics, as <strong>in</strong> those<br />

of other funds <strong>in</strong> the region.<br />

—<br />

IMPEDIMENTS<br />

—<br />

Isolation: high costs of travel <strong>and</strong> lack of<br />

fund<strong>in</strong>g<br />

· Flight costs to / from Nouakchott are high.<br />

· Mauritanian cultural actors are not well connected<br />

to fund<strong>in</strong>g organizations. Conversely,<br />

<strong>in</strong>ternational fund<strong>in</strong>g organizations have so<br />

far not made efforts to bolster mobility of<br />

Mauritanian cultural actors.<br />

· While Mauritanians are technically eligible for<br />

all major funds (AFAC, al-Mawred al-Thaqafy,<br />

RCF), its ambiguous status between <strong>North</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

West <strong>Africa</strong> may feed (potentially unconscious)<br />

exclusion from Arab / MENA-oriented <strong>in</strong>itiatives.<br />

· The M<strong>in</strong>istry of Culture does not support travel<br />

of cultural actors.<br />

—<br />

M<br />

A<br />

U<br />

R<br />

I<br />

T<br />

A<br />

N<br />

I<br />

A<br />

—<br />

Algeria have done a disservice to its relations<br />

with Morocco, mak<strong>in</strong>g visas to the<br />

K<strong>in</strong>gdom more difficult to obta<strong>in</strong>.<br />

Language<br />

· Not all Mauritanians speak English or French<br />

sufficiently to fill <strong>in</strong> fund<strong>in</strong>g applications<br />

<strong>in</strong> those languages <strong>and</strong> as such may feel<br />

<strong>in</strong>timidated.<br />

Lack of professionalization<br />

· Opportunities for professional artistic tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>and</strong> development are virtually nil <strong>in</strong> Mauritania.<br />

As such, artists do not necessarily<br />

have the skills or knowledge to search for<br />

fund<strong>in</strong>g, f<strong>in</strong>ance their careers, etc.<br />

They want to travel but they are stuck <strong>in</strong>side<br />

the country <strong>–</strong> they don’t underst<strong>and</strong> cultural<br />

management. <strong>–</strong> Atigh Ould, founder <strong>and</strong> director<br />

of Festival Nomade, Nouakchott / Montreal*<br />

Visas<br />

· Mauritanian cultural actors must travel to Dakar<br />

to get visas to countries that do not have a<br />

diplomatic representation <strong>in</strong> Nouakchott.<br />

Many young people want to attend events <strong>in</strong> Europe<br />

<strong>and</strong> the USA; but it takes time, <strong>and</strong> if you don’t know<br />

the ambassador, it takes months. Even Morocco<br />

<strong>and</strong> Egypt are start<strong>in</strong>g to get complicated as well. <strong>–</strong><br />

Mohamed Idoumou, Poet, journalist, documentary<br />

filmmaker <strong>and</strong> cultural operator, Maison du<br />

c<strong>in</strong>éma de Nouakchott*<br />

· Mauritania’s neutral stance on the Western<br />

Sahara issue <strong>and</strong> diplomatic relations with

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