Thousands of Moroccan artists are living in precarious conditions following the suspension of all cultural events and activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The foundation will use the budget to purchase artwork from the artists most affected by COVID-19 and display them in museums across the country. An independent committee will be in charge of selecting artists and pieces of art.
A report announced that FNM is planning exhibitions for Moroccan artists, revolving around Morocco’s cultural heritage, after museums reopen.
The move left thousands of Moroccan artists unable to exhibit their talents and generate income.
While FNM’s initiative will support Moroccan plastic artists, it cannot benefit thousands of other artists, including singers, actors, and street performers.
On May 9, Moroccan artists launched a social media campaign under the hashtags “Stop,” “Baraka” (Darija), and “Youda” (Tamazight) to denounce their precarious living situation amid the COVID-19 crisis and to ask the government for help.
Artists shared photos of themselves flipped upside-down with the caption “I am an artist and I protest.”
The campaign led Moroccan citizens to sympathize with compatriot artists, sharing the photos hundreds of times.
The majority of professional artists in Morocco work independently and do not benefit from social security.
One of the most affected regions by the suspension of cultural activities is Ouarzazate, in southern Morocco, which hosts one of the largest movie sets in the world.
The region is a regular destination for international moviemakers, creating hundreds of job opportunities for Moroccan youth as technicians, actors, extras, and stuntmen.
On May 1, Morocco’s Minister of Culture and Youth Othman El Ferdaous announced the allocation of MAD 13.3 million ($1.35 million) for cultural projects that would support Moroccan artists.
However, the projects will serve mainly to revive the country’s cultural scene after the COVID-19 crisis and do not benefit artists during the pandemic.