Crystal Carnival had the amazing opportunity to interview the founder and organiser of the Fez Artist Gathering that will be held for the second time next weekend in Fez, Morocco. Like its hosting city, Fez, the festival aims to become a meeting point of arts and a multi-cultural conversation.
Art is one of the best channels through which to explore another understanding of the crisis the world is going through today. And this is what the Fez International Artist Gathering is aiming to do. The second annual Fez International Artist Gathering will be taking place from 12th to 16th of January, 2017 in the old medina of Fez, Morocco. Founded and organised by Fez-based artist and photographer Omar Chennafi, this year’s central theme is “Art in the Time of Crisis”. The festival aspires through its international status to engage both artists and attendees in a global conversation that is extremely important today, aspiring to promote diversity and build bridges between cultures.
Be it the striking tragedy of war, the horrors of extremism, the frustrations of trying to overcome lack of global education, art remains according to Chennafi the best way to start to think about, and work through many of these issues. It is also one of the best mediums for “challeng[ing] stigmas surrounding Islam, while also examining the world’s ongoing conflicts through a unique, creative lens.”
Art in a way creates a space in which many cultures, mentalities and points of view can meet and exchange ideas and perceptions. “ Artists can talk to everyone because art is the opposite of dogma,” Chennafi said. “For me, religion without culture is extremism and culture without art is dogma.”
The 2017 Gathering will host five new art exhibitions, selected by German curators Pascual Jordan, and Evi Blink, that blend together photography, installations and paintings. In addition, four discussion panels will be held covering ‘Contemporary Art’, ‘Photography’, ‘Art and Education’, and ‘Art in Islam’. Exhibited artists will come from all corners of the world, and include up-and-coming figures like Mohamed Charkaoui (Fez, Morocco) and Michael Grieve (Berlin, Germany).
The Fez International Artist Gathering is held in partnership with: The Goethe Institut, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Institut Fran ç ais Fez, Conseil R é gional du Tourisme, American Language Centre of Fez ., Association Fes Saiss, Cafe Clock, In MACECE, Plan-it Morocco, Cercle des Souffles, L’Association Marocaine des Professeurs d’Allemand i(AMPA), Rumi Institute Near East University, PILOTENKUECHE, Morocco World News and The View From Fez.
For more information about the festival, attendance or participating artists and discussion panels, please visit: http://www.fezgathering.com/