“People are fighting Corona and I am fighting Corona and mice.” Those were the words of Moroccan actress Aisha, what is her plan in a long post on social media in which she describes her poor social situation, and in which she asks her followers to help her find new housing.
Aisha lives in an unfit home, she says, after her attempts to move to a suitable house failed due to her inability to pay the high rent after she stopped working since the state of health emergency was declared in the country last March.
Last summer, the Moroccan director and screenwriter Mohamed Ismail entered the hospital after a health problem that made him lose his movement and speech, and he is still lying in intensive care in a clinic in Casablanca awaiting surgery.
His wife told Channel 2 news that he had experienced a psychological crisis due to production problems related to his last film, as his film project was affected by the repercussions of Corona and the complex procedures of financial support.
Moroccan artists found themselves in unemployment after they stopped working nearly a year ago due to health emergency measures that closed cinemas, cinemas and theaters, and banned concerts, festivals and other gatherings.
Between breakthrough and closing
The situation changed in June, when the Moroccan authorities allowed the return of filming sites for cinematic and audiovisual products as part of the gradual reduction of the stone. Drama makers have since resumed filming their discontinued works and new drama series.
However, cinemas, theaters and cinemas remained closed, and festivals, concerts and artistic events are banned for an indefinite period, which exacerbated the social conditions of Moroccan artists, especially those who work in live performances.
The president of the Moroccan Syndicate of Dramatic Art Professionals, Massoud Bouhcine, told Al-Jazeera Net that the artists faced this crisis with solidarity among themselves, but added, "How long will this solidarity last?"
Artists launched campaigns and signed petitions calling for the return of artistic life to normal, while respecting precautionary measures similar to other economic activities, indicating the extent of the damage caused to artists on the one hand and citizens who were deprived of their right to culture and art on the other hand.
Bouhcine explains that the union he heads has exhausted all the means that the law gives it to convey the voice of artists to the responsible authorities and their suffering due to the continuing suspension.
Unamir Theater in Morocco closed its doors due to the Corona pandemic (social networking sites)
Support did not reach everyone
The Minister of Culture, while presenting his ministry’s budget to Parliament, monitored a number of measures that were programmed last year to confront the repercussions of the pandemic on the cinematic sectors, including the disbursement of exceptional financial support for the affected cinemas, and another for film festivals whose sessions were canceled, but this support was only for the period. Between March and June of last year, it was not renewed in the following months, despite the continued closure of artistic spaces.
Last October, the Ministry of Culture announced the disbursement of exceptional support to artists, but the artistic unions expressed their disappointment with the results of the support that did not respond - according to them - to the exceptional circumstances in the field, and criticized the weak financial support allocated to the number of workers in each artistic project who were closed In their faces the possibility of a decent life.
Bouhcine believes that this exceptional support is support for specific artistic projects and not all artists have benefited from it, and that its sums are limited and spent in installments, and its disbursement procedures are complicated, as the first payment of it did not start until late at a time when the artists lived in a state of pause and waiting for nearly a period of time. the year.
It remains to complete the disbursement of this exceptional support, which was allocated to a number of theatrical, musical and plastic performances, subject to the presentation of these artistic projects, at a time when theaters are still closed.
Bouhcine says that "the exceptional support and the resumption of filming TV series did not solve the social crisis in which artists are stumbling, because art is not just serials."
He adds that the time has come to take real initiatives to save what can be saved, noting that continuing to ignore this situation will worsen the matter and affect the country's artistic and cultural industry in the future.
Audiences of a Moroccan theater before the Corona pandemic (social networking sites)
Echo in Parliament
The cries of Moroccan artists echoed in the Moroccan Parliament, and the parliamentarian for the Justice and Development Party, Amina Fawzi Zizi, told Al-Jazeera Net that she had raised the bad situation that many artists are suffering under the health emergency measures, and called for plans to end this situation during parliamentary meetings with the Minister of Culture .
Amina believes that the real entrance to improving the conditions of artists and overcoming the fragility of the artistic industry passes through the laws, considering that "the copyright and related rights bill, which will be discussed soon in the Parliament's Education and Culture Committee, would bring about a real breakthrough in the artists' social life."
She explains that some of the proposed amendments in this project will enable artists to obtain compensation every time their works are shown on channels and radio stations, instead of what is happening now, as their works are exposed several times and those responsible and working in them do not benefit from any compensation for re-showing.
Although opening theaters and cinemas and organizing festivals and concerts is unlikely in the near term, according to what Moroccan media reported from sources from the Ministry of Culture, the artists insist on raising their voices to demand the return of artistic life to normal, as according to them it is not in bread alone that a person lives, but his soul needs Creativity, culture and art.
While waiting for the flame of art to ignite again and open the doors of life to theaters and cinemas, creative men and women have nothing but steadfastness and solidarity as a weapon in the face of the crisis.