Marrakech Biennale and the British Council have for this edition of the Biennale created an internship programme for students in English at Cadi Ayyad University. The aim is to create intercultural links and exchange between the students and the artists of the Biennale.
The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Their aim is to create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.
Both British Council and Marrakech Biennale aim to leave positive long-term effects by engaging young Moroccans in the international and cultural melting pot that the Marrakech Biennale constitutes.
During the long period when the Biennale artists have been preparing and creating their work, each artist have each been teamed up with a student-intern who has acted as host for the city as well as in some case, assistants in the actual work of the artist.
Some of the professors of Cadi Ayyad University have supported the students to take the internship one step further, by encouraging them to base their term paper on the Biennale as a way to intellectually process this experience.
The aim of the Internship was to create intercultural exchange through a mutually beneficial internship. A diploma (co-signed by Martin Rose, the Director of British Council Morocco, Mme Ouidad Tebaa; The Dean of Cadi Ayyad and Vanessa Branson; president of Marrakech Biennale) will be issued to the students that have shown dedication to the internship programme and given some of their time to the preparation of the Marrakech Biennale.
The Marrakech Biennale is excited to hold the first Biennale Student Art Workshops in partnership with the British Council and locally based design company Zid Zid Kids. Eight Biennale artists will collaborate artistically with the girls from Soroptimist International-Club de Marrakech Girls Dorm to create a series of dynamic mixed-media art pieces during a ten-day-period this February 2012.
It is the Biennale's hope to allow for a cross-cultural conversation to take place between artist and student; to open up a dialogue between cultures while allowing for artistic expression to happen in a place with little exposure to the arts, neither in creating nor in viewing.
The theme for this creative collaboration is “Discovering Portraiture and Identity through Medium Exploration” Each student will have the opportunity to look at and question her own identity by exploring a variety of mediums such as sound, light, space construction, written word, drawing, painting, poetry, song and reflections to create her final piece of art. Diverse materials will be brought on site to the dorm and work will be conducted on site. The potential outcome of each finished piece will be entirely left open to each participant as she sees fit.
The Soroptimist International-Club de Marrakech Girls Dorm was founded thirteen years ago by a passionate teacher (now retired) and Marrakech resident Touria Binebine. Touria holds a strong belief in the potential of young women of Marrakech and created this dorm in efforts to help continue their education. Each student leaves her family to spend the school year in the dorm studying, living, sharing, cooking, and working together to continue her studies. There are approximately 120 girls between the ages 12 to 18, living in the dorm and attending the nearby schools. Each student is required to maintain a high grade point average to be able to stay in the dorm. The dorm is located approximately 15 minutes outside of the center of Marrakech.
The Student Workshops will be conducted by Julie Klear, the creative director of the internationally recognized children's design company Zid Zid Kids. In addition to her design and illustration work, Ms. Klear holds experience teaching art to children in schools and museums in the US and Morocco. She is passionate about sharing diverse art experiences with children from all walks of life. An American, Ms. Klear is a resident of Marrakech.
Upon completion of the workshop, the final work created by the students will go on display in conjunction with the opening of the Biennale. Artist reflections and other vibrant coverage of this exciting workshop will be covered in the Biennale Blog.
Generous funding has been provided by the British Council for this stimulating opportunity to take place.