Photo: A Street Art Tour of Morocco
By: Nouha Elyazidi / Arab America Contributing Writer
Art has been a form of expression and communication for tens of thousands of years. From cavemen carvings into stone to eloquent oil paintings of the renaissance, artists always have a way of unique forms of demonstrating their ideas. One art form that is often overlooked is street art. Street art is undoubtedly one of the most expressive forms of creation.
The country of Morocco is known for its beautiful landscape and architecture, and the street art in the country is absolutely becoming a tourist attraction. The Moroccan government and institutions such as the Fine Art Academy of Casablanca have endorsed artists and supported youth expression through art. From Tangier to Agadir, Moroccan art work is very expressive. In Rabat the capital of Morocco, there is an annual street art festival and exhibit called Jidar. People from across the world are given canvases on empty walls and building-sides and create beautiful art. Legal street art is encouraged in Morocco because it is seen as a positive form of expression and something youth can spend their time doing that brightens the city.
There are many themes found within Moroccan street art. One major theme is people. Countless works of street art feature images of everyday Moroccans, simply regular people. This art is a reflection of the people of Morocco and is detailed and impressive work. This piece below is called “Women in Rabat” and was pained during Jidar in 2018 by Moroccan artist Samir Iramo.
Another popular theme in street art is the concept of identity. The art piece below was created by Moroccan artists Abid and features the same woman drawn twice with her face overlapping. One is wearing traditional native headwear, and the other has her hair out. The symbolism of this piece of the struggle between a native and “modern” identity.
A rising form practice in street art is the mix of modern and traditional forms of art. This phenomenal piece below was done by calligraphist Tarek Benamoun, and he used traditional Arabic style calligraphy in spirals of gold and silver. Each ring features the poem “Dahbia” or golden in a different language, Arabic, Amazigh, and Latin. Arabic, Amazigh, and Latin (French and Spanish) all have importance to the Moroccan people and Moroccan culture. This work incorperates meaning and language into one beautiful piece.
The popularity of street art in Morocco has a attracted artists from across the globe to participate. Artists come from Peru, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Columbia, France, Canada, and many more. This mural from the Jidar festival in 2016 was done by Saner, a Mexican artist who is famous for exhibiting elements of Mexican culture in his work. This piece below uniquely blends Moroccan and Latin American culture. There is a man shown serving Moroccan mint tea with a traditional Mexican face mask. The beauty of works such as this one is the cultural unity they signify.
Many works of art in Morocco are symbolic of moments in like and human nature. This piece is yet another work from Iramo Samir entirled “To The Moon and Back.” This pieces depicts a Moroccan women with a bright smile holding her small child on her back. The deeper meaning of the piece is the unbreakable bond between a mother and child.
Photo: To the Moon and Back
Moroccan street art has not only been great expression of creativity and has a positive impact on artisits and youth, it was able added a beautiful bright pop of color to the streets of Morocco. These increadible words of art featured here are only the beginning of the beautiful street art of Morocco.
Amin, Bahira. “36 Incredible Works of Art on the Streets of Morocco.” SceneArabia, https://scenearabia.com/Culture/Street-Art-Morocco-Graffiti-Cities-Jidar-Rabat-Sbagha-Bagha-Casablanca?M=True.
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