Rabat – American website Artsy published an article on Thursday, selecting Morocco’s capital, Rabat, as one of “the best cities to be a street artist Today.”
Artsy lauded Moroccan artistic diversity, saying “In Morocco’s major cities, art has been accessible on the street and in public spaces since times of antiquity—intricately patterned Zillij tiles, meticulously carved woodwork, and the flowing characters of Arabic calligraphy adorn the mosques and medinas of Rabat, Marrakech, Fez, and Casablanca.”
Artsy went on to say that the Moroccan government invests in the arts to preserve historical sites and encourage the engagement of youth in contemporary art and that includes street art.
The article also noted that Rabat hosted the Jidar Street Art Festival in 2015 and 2016, saying that “the event brought artists together from around the world to paint alongside domestic talents.”
“Those artists were given the opportunity to paint massive walls around the city. The pieces on display form a fascinating blend of styles and cultures,” it continued. “The geometry and calligraphic elements of traditional Islamic art were well represented alongside surrealistic figurative works.”
As ones of the international artists who participated in the Jidar festival, Argentinian artist Jaz and Spanish Artist Okuda, rated their experience in creating Rabat’s murals as “the best.”
Jaz was quoted by Artsy saying, ““Rabat, in Morocco, is one city where I have such a great response from the people.” Okuda echoes this sentiment: “You work more for the community and you feel how your work makes a positive change in the neighborhood and in the people.”
Artsy explained that, in an international artistic project, the artists become competitive and they do their utmost to prove their potential.
“When working in historically conservative cities like Rabat, artists coming from the outside must challenge themselves to innovate and paint with consideration to political and social expectations,” Artsy said. “The collaborative efforts of Jidar, between the people, their government, and the artists, represents a fresh take on ancient practices.