MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Social and Political Science

Abstract

Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco (MARAM) will build on and broaden the impact of our innovative GCRF project ("Arts for Advocacy") in contributing to debate, shifting opinions, and informing migration policies in Morocco. MARAM (meaning 'wish' in Arabic) will foster greater social and institutional recognition for marginal artists (specifically migrants from Africa and the Middle East and Moroccans from disadvantaged communities).

Morocco has become a country of transit and immigration, notably for sub-Saharan migrants fleeing persecution, conflict and economic precariousness, and more recently for those fleeing the war in Syria. Morocco is attempting to implement a new and more inclusive politics of migration, but this has been fraught with contradictions and ongoing violence. As with other progressive reforms across the Middle East and North Africa region (e.g. Arab Spring), activists, artists, migrant leaders and NGO practitioners have increasingly mobilised the arts to advocate for policy changes regarding migration. Researchers and other practitioners often engage with migrant artists, but their specific needs and challenges as both migrants and artists are overlooked. MARAM addresses this gap in collaboration with its Project Partner, Racines, through three objectives:

1. To develop a Toolkit to facilitate the navigation of existing legislation and administrative hurdles by artists based in Morocco;

2. To enhance artistic collaboration and support networks amongst artists based in Morocco, and between artists and cultural professionals;

3. To generate a Manifesto for Artists' Rights to shape policies affecting artists based in Morocco.

In order to broaden the range of user communities, MARAM will work with a new Project Partner, Racines, an association for cultural development in Morocco and Africa. Activities co-designed and co-delivered with Racines in MARAM include: 1) a series of Workshops in which marginal migrant and Moroccan artists based in Morocco will identify challenges to accessing rights, and social and institutional recognition, co-develop solutions, and build capacity; 2) an Artistic Residency Programme in which participants will creatively engage with what it means to be an artist in Morocco; 3) A Forum for stakeholders, decision-makers, and policy-makers to develop a shared vision of future cultural policies in Morocco.

Led by Dr Laura Jeffery (University of Edinburgh) in collaboration with Dr Mariangela Palladino (University of Keele) and Dr Sébastien Bachelet (University of Edinburgh) the team consists of researchers from across the humanities and social sciences with experiences in forced displacement, arts-based methods, NGO partnership, knowledge exchange, and capacity building within and beyond the Moroccan context. Through its inclusion of artists and creative professionals in designing and conducting the project, MARAM will deliver short, mid, and long-term impact:

1. MARAM will benefit Morocco-based local and migrant artists by enhancing their capacity as creative professionals trough knowledge and skills (e.g. project development & management, communication, employment rights);

2. MARAM will foster and enhance networks and partnerships in the creative and cultural sector in Morocco;

3. MARAM will contribute to shaping institutional policies at national level in Morocco and help sustain improvements in other ODA countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region (see Visual Evidence 1).

Planned Impact

MARAM will have direct impact on otherwise marginal migrant and Moroccan artists, delivering short, mid, and long-term impact (see Visual Evidence):
1. MARAM will benefit Morocco-based local and migrant artists by enhancing their capacity as creative professionals through knowledge and skills (e.g. project development and management, communication, employment rights);
2. MARAM will foster and enhance networks and partnerships in the creative and cultural sector in Morocco;
3. MARAM will contribute to shaping institutional policies at national level in Morocco and help sustain improvements in other ODA countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The project will impact on and benefit the following groups:

1. MARGINAL MOROCCAN AND MIGRANT ARTISTS
a) Workshops will promote wealth creation and economic prosperity; artists' capacity will be enhanced through the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for their development as creative professionals.
b) Artistic Residency Programme will foster opportunities for collaboration amongst participants.
c) Trilingual Toolkit (to navigate existing policies and procedures) will enhance: access to rights and institutional recognition; social, cultural, and economic opportunities for marginal Moroccan and migrant artists beyond the project's participants.
d) Dissemination via website, blog, and social media will improve understanding amongst the general public of issues affecting otherwise marginal migrants and Moroccan artists.
e) Migrant'Scène festival and exhibition will foster broader engagement with and reflection on cultural and migration politics in Morocco.
f) Long-lasting relationships between Racines and participating artists will be fostered through the project's multilingual and interactive website which will further disseminate MARAM's outputs.

2. THIRD-SECTOR ORGANISATIONS, PROFESSIONALS, AND PRACTITIONERS WORKING ON MIGRATION AND CULTURAL POLITICS IN MOROCCO
a) MARAM will increase the capaity of Racines to support the professional development of marginal artists in Morocco.
b) This international partnership will enhance the capacity of Racines to attract future research and development and engender community regeneration.
c) Creative practitioners in Morocco will benefit from MARAM's Forum by learning about other practices, sharing experiences, and influencing future policies.
d) Organisations beyond Morocco and the MENA region (e.g. Arterial Network; the Observatory of Cultural Policies in Africa) will benefit from MARAM via the participation of Racines in the EU-funded Med Culture project.

3. POLICY MAKERS including - but not limited to - Moroccan Ministry of Culture & Communication, Moroccan Ministry of Migratory Affairs, Centre National des Droits de l'Homme (CNDH), Observatoire Nationale de la Migration (ONM)
a) Increased access to user-informed research co-developed by practitioners, academics and participants will directly influence policy development at national level.
b) MARAM's Manifesto will feed into the strategy to shift cultural policies relating to Morocco's recently launched strategy "Maroc Culturel 2020", which seeks to make long-lasting policy change to foster culture as a vector for development.
c) Through its use of cultural, creative practices for capacity building, MARAM provides new insights and knowledge to advance migration policies relating to Morocco's Stratégie Nationale d'Immigration et d'Asile (National Strategy for Immigration and Asylum) (2014), which includes "Education and Culture" and "Professional Development" among eleven programmes for action.
d) MARAM will contribute to shaping institutional cultural and migration policies beyond Morocco: it will help sustain improvements in other ODA countries in the MENA region and across Africa. Racines will cascade and disseminate our multilingual outputs (available online for wide, enhanced access) via its extensive pan-African networks.

Publications

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