artwork credit: Batoul S’himi, World Pressure 6, 2011


Founded in 2004 by Vanessa Branson and Abel Damoussi, the Marrakech Biennale is a not-for-profit association whose mission is to position Marrakech as a platform for contemporary art in Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. Amidst the rise of global tensions, entrepreneur and philanthropist Vanessa Branson envisioned a cultural festival that would address social issues through the arts, using them as a vehicle for debate and discussion and to build bridges between diverse ideologies. It was the first major Trilingual (English, Arabic and French) festival in North Africa. By benefiting from Marrakech’s ideal location as a geographic and cultural crossroads, the Marrakech Biennale has been a world class event synonymous with artistic excellence and cultural diversity, and has promoted dialogue through all forms of artistic expression. Since 2014, the Biennale has been under the leadership of the Executive President, Mohamed Amine Kabbaj.

The Biennale has focused on cutting-edge contemporary Visual Art, Literature, and Film. It has consisted of a main Visual Arts Exhibition, other arts exhibitions, installations and happenings, discussions, debates and screenings based in the eclectic venues and settings that Marrakech has to offer. The Marrakech Biennale also has an Education and Internship Program which promotes intercultural, interdisciplinary and intergenerational exchange between Morocco's student population and the artists, staff and international visitors of the Biennale.

To date, there have been 6 editions, with the last edition held in 2016. Previous curators include Reem Fadda (2016), Hicham Khalidi (2014), Dr Nadim Samman and Carson Chan (2012) and Abdellah Karroum (2009). Past participating acclaimed writers, directors, and artists include Tracy Emin, Gavin Turk, Antony Gormley, Richard E Grant, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Isaac Julien, Faouzi Bensaidi, Julian Schnabel, John Boorman, Ahdaf Soueif, Ben Okri, Hicham Benohoud, and Tala Madani, to name a few.

To find out more information on the Marrakech Biennale and see complete archives of previous editions please contact us at:

hosting supported by urbanpresents.