Fez - Throughout the history of art, one of the most significant aspects of the artistic process has been the possibility of sharing one’s own approach with a wide and diverse audience. In this manner, ideas are exchanged, challenged, and molded before the artist sets out to create.
Fez – Throughout the history of art, one of the most significant aspects of the artistic process has been the possibility of sharing one’s own approach with a wide and diverse audience. In this manner, ideas are exchanged, challenged, and molded before the artist sets out to create.
The International Artist Gathering, hosted in Fes, January 7-9, 2016, highlighted this possibility by bringing together local and international artists for a three-day program of discussions and presentations. Different panels included conversations about “Art Space,” Art in Sufism, and Contemporary Art, inspiring the creativity of the participants. The conference serves as a springboard for future artistic events. The deeply rooted historical venue promotes the veneration and expression of the past, the contemporary, and the evolving future.
The following is an interview with Ramia Beladel, a 28 year-old Moroccan artist from Marrakech.
MWN: What is so special about this event?
Ramia Beladel: Fortunately, the event took place just after I had finished staging my developing project in Moulay Idriss Zerhoune, a town near to Meknes. The schedule of the event was convenient for me because I was able to echo in Fes the same project I had been working on since 2014.
Generally, the focus and the aim of the event was to give a broader perspective to local artists and to provide a dialogue between them and the international artistic community.
MWN: Why Fes?
Ramia Beladel: I think that Fes is in need of these particular events because although the city has historically been a melting pot of culture, this aspect has been missing in recent years. I believe that once the other participants experienced Fes, they felt that there is something special in the city that melds so many different cultures into a singular entity.
MWN: How do you perceive the artistic landscape in Morocco?
Ramia Beladel: I do not like to use the term landscape; I prefer the term scene. Landscape implies something that already exists, whereas scene is something that requires work in order to continue existing. I think the artistic scene in Morocco lies somewhere in between the two: what already exists and what requires work to improve.
I often like to answer this question in a simpler sentence: “Everything is for the betterment of the entire Moroccan people.”
MWN: How can culture and art help youth move forward and develop critical thinking?
Ramia Beladel: I am the kind of artist that likes to involve art and culture in every detail of my daily life. In my work, I like to involve the viewer in a physical manner by responding directly to the surrounding environment and by using everyday experiences as a starting point. These experiences are oftentimes framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context, but through physical connection, the viewers can find links and metaphors from their lives within the work. Once culture and art are close to us, active in our daily lives and not merely products for improvement, their impact will be far stronger. I believe that art and culture should be at the center of our concern, even in so simple a task as eating.
There are no magical solutions or shortcuts. Hard work always pays off. Art is everywhere, which is why artists employ their artistic process through so many different modes and different levels to reach their audience.
Photo credit : Frank Vellenga