In 2004 with the rise of global tensions, Vanessa Branson and Abel Damoussi 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. The Arts in Marrakech festival held its first edition in 2005.
In 2009 in order to realize its full potential in the eyes of the International art world Branson raised the festivals ambition and embraced the term biennale. It has become a celebration of creativity in a city that has for centuries been the focus of artistic exploration but historicaly had only limited emphasis on contemporary art. Beginning as a gathering of arts enthusiasts who organised literary events and exhibitions, the Biennale has grown to become an internationally recognised event with a thriving visual art and literature programme. The Biennale enjoys widespread coverage by the national and international press and is now ranked among the top 20 biennales in the world.
1. Prue Oday / Vanessa Branson / Abel Damoussi / Mohamed Melehi: 2004
2. Ross Douglas : 2006
3. Abdellah Karoum : 2010
4. Carson Chan / Nadim Samman : 2012
5. Alya Sebti / Hicham Khalidi / Khalid Tamer / Driss Ksikes / Jamal Abdennasser : 2014