Meriem Berrada

Head of Cultural Projects, Fondation Alliances / MACAAL (Morocco)

Meriem Berrada designs and implements the various artistic projects of the Alliances Foundation. After working in an auction house as contemporary art director at the Moroccan Compagnie des Œuvres et Objets d'Art, she joined the Alliances Foundation when it was repositioned in 2012. In 2013, she created La Chambre Claire., a support program for emerging African photography and in 2014 the Passerelles program, a cross-patronage approach that combines the cultural and social centers of the Alliances Foundation through awareness-raising workshops on contemporary creation in peripheral urban areas. In 2016, she manages the development of the Al Maaden Museum of Contemporary African Art (MACAAL) in Marrakech. In 2017, Meriem led the fundraising of the association Limiditi- Temporary Art Projects bringing together three generations of Moroccan artists alongside the artist Younes Baba-Ali to ensure the sustainability of an artist residency. In the same year, Meriem joined the Roberto Cimetta Fund's evaluation committee as a visual arts expert.

Art as a vector of social inclusion

Since 2013, the Alliances Foundation, which is at the origin of MACAAL, has been offering visual arts awareness workshops aimed at culture non-audiences. Through cross-patronage between its Solidarity and Culture intervention axes, the Foundation brings, with the Passerelles program, contemporary artistic creation within the peri-urban areas of Casablanca. Without pre-established models, Passerelles consists of one-off workshops organized in different social housing districts. Over 3 to 4 days, led by visual artists and in consultation with the Foundation's team, these workshops aim to introduce and explore an artistic medium to young audiences newly installed in this new urbanism, eccentric, breaking with the forms of traditional housing and totally excluded from cultural diffusion networks. Passerelles made it possible to lay a first stone necessary to build the reflection around the MACAAL audiences. In 2017, we create the MACAAL Lab as an experimental space that aims to promote and raise awareness about contemporary artistic practices (video, installation, sound). A MACAAL room specifically dedicated to the program is thus invested by the work of a contemporary African artist whose practice includes the use of new media. Each time accompanied by a program of free workshops, in the presence of the artist around the process of creation of the work, its realization and the use of new technologies in art. Since January 2018, Friday's Couscous are opportunities to share the most popular dish in Morocco in the MACAAL gardens. By bringing couscous to the museum, we desacralize a place by living a weekly ritual at the same time we discover the artistic creation of his time. (Example of groups received: women's cooperatives, Al Maaden resort maintenance agents, Marrakech taxis, etc.)

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