Kicking off this week is the 4th Marrakech Biennale. The opening days will see performances, debates, talks and screenings as well as the opening of the main ‘Higher Atlas’ visual arts exhibition. “Through partnerships with African and international voices,” the Biennale hopes to “promote the status of the artist and contemporary culture in North Africa and to dynamize the regional creative scene.” Looking at the list of artists participating in the Higher Atlas exhibition, one could get the impression the intended “dialogues that [will] produce new, consensual realities” will most likely reflect a North Atlantic triangular reality with a tiny Moroccan base, since most of the contributing artists are European or American. The Moroccan artists that were included are Younes Baba-Ali, Faouzi Laatiris and Hassan Darsi. South of Morocco, they seem to have only found one artist: Pascale Marthine Tayou. So much for the African voices.

Among the movies scheduled to show in the Biennale’s film section are the dubious ‘I Am Slave’ (from 2010; Basia promises to put up a review soon), Moroccan Narjiss Nejjar’s new film ‘L’Amante du Rif’ but also writer and director Hicham Lasri’s first feature, ‘The End’, set in a postapocalyptic 1999, on the eve of the death of King Hassan II:

In the literature section, we find writers Latifa Baqa, Omar Berrada, Zahia Rahmani, Abderrahim Elkhassar and litfest veterans Ben Okri and Rian Malan.

Anybody in Marrakech to give us some feed-back? The Official Parallel Projects look interesting.