In Morocco, the cultural sector is at half mast

Audio 02:22

View of Casablanca (illustrative image).

Getty Images / appassionato fotografo viaggiatore

By: Nina Kozlowski

6 min

In Morocco, culture is the third sector most affected by the health crisis linked to Covid-19.

There is even talk of a white year.

Since the lockdown, transactions related to culture have fallen by 60%.

This summer, the museums reopened their doors: good news for visual artists and photographers.

But theaters, theaters and concerts are still closed and the festivals have all been canceled, which heavily penalizes performing artists, and all operators in the sector, often not declared.


The Ministry of Culture has disbursed an envelope of approximately 3.5 million euros to support artistic creation.

Despite this, many artists have not received any subsidy and want above all to resume their activity.

The outbreak of the epidemic requires, the resumption of shows does not seem to be for tomorrow.

In the mazes of the very contemporary Mohammed VI Museum in Rabat, Fouad Bellamine, artist-painter, comes back to life.

He lived his confinement like a caged lion and had to postpone his retrospective twice.

Fouad Bellamine: “ 

I come from a generation that had never experienced an epidemic like that.

As I work in a workshop which is 4 kilometers from my home, I arranged to have an authorization in order to be able to go to my workshop and work, it saved me, somewhere. 


The opening of his exhibition finally took place on November 19, under restrictions.

What should have been a celebration with several hundred guests finally gathered around fifteen people.

Fouad Bellamine: “

 As the exhibition will last a long time, I could make visits, especially of students, that's what is close to my heart. 


Upstream, the organization of this exhibition, which traces fifty years of paintings, was a real tour de force, while its economic benefits are likely to be less good than usual.

Latifa Seghini, curator of the exhibition, testifies: “ 

We had major problems transporting the works, from French, Madrid and Qatari museums, for example.

The museums, for the most part, canceled the route.

And then the big problem, it is especially economical.

These are very, very expensive works, and the people who are used to making these kinds of acquisitions are in the business world.

And the business world is bad. 


Stopped for a year, the live performance is also bad.

The Kabaret Cheikhates troupe continues to rehearse every week, without having any visibility as to a possible resumption of its activities.

Ghassan El Hakim, director and actor, points to the State's lack of interest in culture: " 

Already, before the time of confinement, there was no interest in this sector, so imagine today" hui, it suits everyone that the theaters are closed.


The troupe will give a next performance at the end of June 2021, in France, provided that Moroccans can travel again.

Ghassan El Hakim: “ 

If necessary, we will take pateras or zodiacs.

I don't know if people understand that this is existential for us. 


Existential, as for the hundreds of thousands of workers, who make a living from culture.


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  • Morocco

  • Culture

  • Coronavirus

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