Atlas Art Village: Up Close and Personal

In less than a month, people from all over the world will gather to celebrate and experience four days of Atlas Electronic. Apart from the carefully put together musical programming, we’ve combined efforts with some of Marrakech’ finest in arts to bring our visitors this year’s Atlas Art Village.

Earlier this year, on May 5th, a very special art exposition was kicked off during the Atlas Electronic Showcase Marrakech: The Exhibition. Guests could wander around the beautiful naturally lit riad le18 - a well-hidden gem in the middle of the Medina - and explore the crafts of Jean Feline, Hosein Jaddad, Mo Baala, and Mehdi El Ghaly. First-timers, regulars, art lovers, friends, and people who got there by accident were all represented. Old, young, European, and local visitors mixed & matched, connecting with one another through this event.

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One of the curators responsible for The Exhibition was KE’CH Collective - founded in 2015 by cultural actors from Morocco and Switzerland. With their work, they’re aiming to empower creatives and encourage cross-cultural exchange and interaction in order to preserve and highlight diversity. Through swap laboratories, the collective provides a platform for contemporary art, design and culture. KE’CH Collective has quite an extensive and impressive list of projects to their name. A great example hereof is their project in collaboration with Marrakech Biennale 6th Edition: Laboratoire de la Mondialité - an exhibition of seven artists their collective artistic analysis on European and North African identity.

Mint Works and KE’CH Collective together form Marrakech Collective. Founded in 2013 by Jean Feline, Florence Devereux and Hermione Skye O’Hea, Mint Works held one of the first programs of art residencies in Marrakech. They have been supported by partners as Marrakech Biennale and other cultural actors in the city; le18, Dar Al’Mamun, and Save Cinemas in Morocco to name a few. For the past three years, Mint Works has been creating experimental artist-run spaces in Marrakech for young artists to engage in cross-cultural dialogue and interfaith conversation, to strengthen a network of support between Europe and North Africa and to create exhibitions and happenings that respond to the vibrant soul of the city.

For this year’s Atlas Art Village, we are happy to have these leaders on Morocco’s artistic front as our partners. Become part of the art yourself in the interactive art installation by the hands of Mint Works’ Jean Feline and artists Hassan Hajjaj, Salim Bayri, Alia Belgsir, Hosein Jaddad, and Salah Bouade. Or you could try and get your other senses gratified. Absorb your fair dose of light at the interactive art installation by locals Kech Light or join the conversation with Malika Sqalli and Pein Lee during a two-way reflection on each other’s photography. Whether it’s being swept off your feet by the tales of verbal magician Mehdi El Ghaly the Storyteller, or gazing at multimedia artist Mo Baala creating an art-piece in real time, in this artistic safe haven everything is possible. Break away from the dancefloor to discover what each artist has created, learn about the crafts and the process, and hear the stories behind their creation.

Besides from the Atlas Art Village itself, you can stroll down the Souk and check out the handmade minimalistic eye-catchers by LRNCE or Kili Kaftan’s beautiful contemporary gowns. Feeling inspired by what befalls you? Get crafty during one of our workshops with authentic artisans and make your personal souvenir. Learn how to work metal like a true crafts(wo)man or bake your own pottery with none other than Hosein Jaddad during his clay workshop. In this year’s Atlas Art Village and Souk, you will not only enjoy inspiration from a distance but be able to become part of the movement. It is for all visitors who are ready to unearth the ongoing journey of Moroccan art up close and personal.

Find out more about the performing artists, designers and their art during the #AtlasArtWeek on Instagram starting Monday, August 31st.

Photography & Film: Tim Buiting

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