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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—<br />

QUOTE:<br />

« There’s a grow<strong>in</strong>g consciousness at the<br />

local level: we don’t have much to do <strong>in</strong> the<br />

<strong>North</strong>. There is so much to do here at home.<br />

And the <strong>North</strong> is so saturated! I don’t see<br />

myself go<strong>in</strong>g to work abroad permanently,<br />

because what I have to do makes more sense<br />

here. It’s the consciousness of my generation.<br />

It’s what makes it so that people leave<br />

<strong>and</strong> come back.»<br />

Myriam Amroun<br />

Cultural manager,<br />

Algiers*<br />

—<br />

The lack of awareness of exist<strong>in</strong>g<br />

opportunities <strong>and</strong> potential<br />

partners was a recurr<strong>in</strong>g theme<br />

<strong>in</strong> all <strong>in</strong>terviews. Many artists<br />

<strong>and</strong> operators expressed support<br />

for this mapp<strong>in</strong>g exercise<br />

<strong>and</strong> wished to know where others<br />

could be found. In light of<br />

this, a crucial step towards improv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

mobility must be taken at the level of <strong>in</strong>formationshar<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

namely through the follow<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>itiatives:<br />

1.1. Create an onl<strong>in</strong>e platform centraliz<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>formation<br />

about opportunities on the cont<strong>in</strong>ent, preferably<br />

searchable by discipl<strong>in</strong>e, dest<strong>in</strong>ation, etc. <strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g a calendar, contacts <strong>and</strong> other relevant<br />

<strong>in</strong>formation<br />

98<br />

Conclusion & Recommendations<br />

1 .<br />

Promote<br />

<strong>in</strong>formationshar<strong>in</strong>g<br />

about<br />

opportunities<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>North</strong> <strong>Africa</strong><br />

<strong>and</strong> other<br />

<strong>Africa</strong>n regions<br />

2 .<br />

Support<br />

face-to-face<br />

<strong>and</strong> onl<strong>in</strong>e<br />

network<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Lack of concrete, <strong>in</strong>-person contact with peers <strong>and</strong><br />

colleagues underlies the lack of <strong>in</strong>formation shar<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>and</strong> lack of awareness of possibilities outside<br />

one’s immediate environment. Several respondents<br />

stressed that their most fruitful collaborations have<br />

come out of experiences where<br />

they physically met a fellow artist<br />

/ curator / operator. As such,<br />

it seems necessary to multiply<br />

such opportunities <strong>–</strong> ideally,<br />

through face-to-face meet<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

but also leverag<strong>in</strong>g onl<strong>in</strong>e<br />

technologies to reduce costs.<br />

2.1. Create opportunities for<br />

cultural operators to meet <strong>and</strong><br />

share <strong>in</strong>formation, region- <strong>and</strong><br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ent-wide. Cultural operators<br />

will lead the way for artists<br />

2.2. Encourage the creation<br />

of discipl<strong>in</strong>e-specific networks,<br />

us<strong>in</strong>g the model of the Network<br />

of Alternative Arab Screens, AFRIFA <strong>and</strong><br />

Centres of Learn<strong>in</strong>g for Photography <strong>in</strong> <strong>Africa</strong>.<br />

These networks can share <strong>in</strong>formation,<br />

advocate for <strong>and</strong> facilitate mobility<br />

2.3. Strengthen networks <strong>and</strong> support mobility <strong>in</strong><br />

areas where mobility is already facilitated by<br />

visa-free policy (e.g., the Maghreb)<br />

1. 2. Centralize <strong>and</strong> consolidate exist<strong>in</strong>g mapp<strong>in</strong>gs (e.g.,<br />

Rac<strong>in</strong>e’s <strong>Art</strong>Map; Carte Culturelle de l’Algérie);<br />

support new mapp<strong>in</strong>gs for other countries<br />

1. 3. Emphasize dissem<strong>in</strong>ation of <strong>in</strong>formation about<br />

arts scenes <strong>in</strong> Algeria, Libya, Mauritania <strong>and</strong><br />

Western Sahara to combat isolation<br />

2.4. Multiply scop<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g missions to<br />

Algeria, Libya, Mauritania <strong>and</strong> Western Sahara<br />

to reduce isolation <strong>and</strong> create new networks<br />

2.5. Involve youth <strong>in</strong> new networks by reach<strong>in</strong>g<br />

out to art schools <strong>and</strong> universities

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