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Rabat – After the first edition that allowed a dozen street artists to unleash their imaginations on the walls of Morocco’s capital of Rabat, the Jidar Festival, organized by the Association Boulevard L’EAC and the National Museums Foundation, has returned for a second edition running from 22 April to 1 May.

Often considered an urban scourge or a petty crime, graffiti has been called many names due to its historical association with vandalism and strong ties to underground hip hop culture in New York in the 1970s.

However, in Rabat, this form of public art is appreciated and embraced by the city’s residents with arms wide open. The array of murals, frescoes and paintings created by talented spray-can artists found an outlet in Rabat, infusing the streets of Morocco’s capital with new life and a new look.

Twenty-three artists from all over the world, including Morocco, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Egypt, UK and USA, have converged on the seaside city, transforming Rabat itself into a canvas

Yacine Heikalane, whose style is strongly influenced by the expressionist movement, is one of those who responded to the call.

“Jidar Street Art Festival is an amazing opportunity to focus on the visual appearance of the city of Rabat by revitalizing its remarkable architecture and giving it greater interest and visibility for the public audience,” Heikalane said, in an exclusive interview with Morocco World News. “Hopefully this will encourage creativity within the street art scene and help involve more artists [to] make more astonishing artwork in the following editions.”

If you want to check out these murals for yourself, you can find them on the following streets: Avenue Hassan II, Avenue Tadla, Avenue Ibn Sina, Avenue Al Alaouyine, Avenue Hamman El Fatwaki, Avenue Mohamed Ben Abdellah, Avenue Al Moukawama, Avenue Madagascar, Rue Abdelmoumen and Avenue Allal Al Fassi.

In Pictures: Rabat Walls Transform into Street Canvases
DEIH (Spain) – Avenue Sidi Mohamad ben Abdellah, Quartier Yaacob Mansour. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
In Pictures: Rabat Walls Transform into Street Canvases
EIME (Portugal) – Rue Madagascar Palace de Russie, Quartier L’océan. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
CASE MACLAIM (Germany) - Avenue Hassan II, Quartier Agdal.
CASE MACLAIM (Germany) – Avenue Hassan II, Quartier Agdal. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
PEETA (Italy) - Avenue Hassan II, Quartier Hassan.
PEETA (Italy) – Avenue Hassan II, Quartier Hassan. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
NICOLAS BARROME (France) - Avenue Al Mouqaouama, Quartier L'océan.
NICOLAS BARROME (France) – Avenue Al Mouqaouama, Quartier L’océan. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
OKUDA (Spain) - Avenue Al Alaouiyine, Quartier Hassan.
OKUDA (Spain) – Avenue Al Alaouiyine, Quartier Hassan. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
Normal (Morocco) - Avenue Ibn Sina, Quartier Agdal.
Normal (Morocco) – Avenue Ibn Sina, Quartier Agdal. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
AMMAR ABO BAKR (Egypt) - Avenue Tadla, Quartier Mabella
AMMAR ABO BAKR (Egypt) – Avenue Tadla, Quartier Mabella. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
In Pictures: Rabat Walls Transform into Street Canvases
STNK (Mexico) & MACHIMA (Morocco) – Angle Avenue Hommane Al Fatouaki & Avenue Fatouaka, Quartier Mabella. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
In Pictures: Rabat Walls Transform into Street Canvases
Remi Rough (UK) – MMVI Musée Mohamed VI d’Art Moderne et Contemporain à Rabat. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane
YASSINE BALBZIOUI (Morocco) - Avenue Abdelmomen, Quartier Hassan.
YASSINE BALBZIOUI (Morocco) – Avenue Abdelmomen, Quartier Hassan. Photo Credit: Yacine Heikalane

Edited by Kelsey Fish.