Fez International Artist’s Gathering

“Africa of the Africans,” the 3rd Annual International Artists Gathering of Fez, from January 11-14, 2018



Co-curated by local artist and founder Omar Chennafi and guest curators Neil van der Linden, and George Bajalia the 3rd Annual International Fez Gathering of Artists in Fez celebrates the theme “Africa of the Africans.” Artists and scholars from around the world are invited to explore the connections between Morocco and the rest of the African continent through talks, art, and music. In addition to displaying the cultural power of Africa, the event promotes awareness of the intrinsic diversities and commonalities of the continent and studies its unexplored potentials within the walls of Fez – a symbolic ancient city with a modern role. The Gathering is a leader in promoting the arts of Africa and supports the artistic community of Fez by providing it a space to exhibit artwork alongside international artists, academics, and guests.

This year’s Gathering includes the following panels: “Photography and Documentary in Africa,” “Contemporary Art in Africa,” “Ritual, Practice, and Sufism in Africa,” and “Language Exchange in Africa: Beyond Francophone and Anglophone.” Presenters will discuss the function of cultural production in the African context and how art is being used to address the current challenges on the continent. Artists joining this year’s Gathering include Mohamed Arejdal, Ramia Beladel, Meriem El Haitami , Mohamed Charkaoui, Benjamin Füglister, M’hammed Kilito, Aurelie Lierman, Eva Maria Ocherbauer, Matteo Rubbi, Frank Vellenga, and Shishani Vranckx.

Admission is free and open to the public. Participants are invited to share feedback. The entire festival will be filmed, documented and subsequently shared on social media. This coverage will include one-on-one interviews with artists and participants.

The International Fez Gathering of Artists is held in partnership with The Dutch embassy in Rabat, The Goethe-Institut in Morocco, The French Institute of Fez, the Regional Council of Tourism, American Language Centre of Fez, Café Clock, the Moroccan-American Commission for Education and Cultural Exchange, Plan-it Morocco, The Cervantes Institute, and the Confederation of African Students and Interns in Morocco.

For more information and press inquiries please contact Gwyneth Talley, Press/Media Coordinator, at fezgathering@gmail.com. Visit us online at http://www.fezgathering.com/.

Preview Program schedule

This is a preliminary schedule of the 3rd Fez Gathering program. Further theatre, concert, workshops and other performances will be announced in the coming weeks.
January 11th, 2018 Alif Riad (Invited guests) Arrival day in Fez.

18:30 Opening ceremony/reception – Alif Riad in Batha, Fez Medina. 19:00 Music Concert

January 12th, 2018 Dar Batha and other locations (Open to the general public)

09:00 – 10:30 10:30 – 11:00 11:00 – 12:30 13:00 – 14:30 15:00 – 17:00 17:30


Panel presentation: Contemporary Art in Africa
Panel presentation: Photography & Documentary Films in Africa Lunch provided by Café Clock Fez
Fashion show: African Fashion

Exhibition opening at Alif Riad or El Kasmi gallery Music concert

January 13th, 2018
(Open to the general public)


10:30 – 11:00 11:00-12:30

13:00 – 14:30 15:00 – 16:40 17:00

Sufism, Religion, Rituals and their Artistic Expressions in Africa

Break Panelpresentation:

Language Exchange in Africa: Beyond Francophone and Anglophone Lunch provided by Café Clock Fez
Workshop:Islamic Geometry

Theatre Performance at Cinema Boujloud
Slideluck, African Potluck followed by the slide show production

Dar Batha and other locations

burn, baby, burn

busted thoughts
and scathing pen
daring me
to write

I fight with
every syllable
punching every
pit of

my musty brain
begins to crank

grinding words
to cobblestones
that skip the path
to future

that’s all I’m of
these words internal
scorching me

burn, baby, burn


smooth my feathers


stroke me with care

and kindness

remind me

you are here

because of me


despite me


my silky bill

is happy to nibble

your proffered treats

I accept them


and gratefully


perhaps we shall waddle together

along the torrent’s bank

feather by feather


sympathetic noises

in support of each other’s

difficulties and losses


we might

quack out loud

in an excited succession

of jokes and



and perhaps we will be

lucky enough

to nestle together

and make a sanctuary

on the dry sticks

life provides



Passing Port

His surly border face
hurls gruff questions at
my blanched, weary frame
and scours my documents with
needle eyes

what for?

my destinations are too random
for his liking
my plans, too un-planned

he wants an iron-clad timetable
barcode tattoo
that can be traced
and verified

thus surveillance
can contain me
at any inconvenient moment

his grimace hesitates

antennae flailing

unable to grasp a fault in me
he grumblingly stamps
and returns my passport

and I am allowed hustle
from this queue
the next fault line.


I look through you
you open the world to me
my umbilical cord to the universe of clarity
you frame my eyes
but to onlookers
you frame my appearance
and my abilities
definitely not athletic!
how small frames
thus worn
open all possibilities to me
yet close them
to those who see

(Dedicated to anyone who wears glasses)