Mohamed Fariji 

Co-director, L'Atelier de l'Observatoire (Morocco)

Mohamed Fariji (Casablanca, 1966) develops long-term engaged and participative artistic projects. His works are based on processes of active multidisciplinary research borrowing from architecture, history, sociology, science and politics, involving researchers and citizens, decision-makers and institutions. Engaged in the exploration of urban myths, collective memory and urban socio-political and architectural narrations, Mohamed Fariji combine his artistic practice with civil and environmental initiatives, particularly in the context of the activities run by l’Atelier de l’Observatoire, a platform for art and research which he co-founded. Moving from his researches on the Old Aquarium of Casablanca, he has recently engaged in a collective reflection on the possibilities for reactivating public spaces and places linked to education and heritage.

A Collective Museum for Casablanca

The Collective Museum is a citizen-led museum dedicated to the public memory of cities, which hosts particularly objects and documents that are about to disappear, therefore tracing a history of what could have no more be.  It takes the form of a series of participative actions of research, collection and recuperation of documents, archives, photographs, objects, films and other memories, embodying the traces of cities’ life (stations, factories, markets), of families’ daily and private lives, or finally of old public and educational spaces (amusement parks, swimming pools, aquariums, schools, cinemas, zoos, etc.) all about to disappear, to be closed down, already abandoned or at risk of being demolished.

The Collective Museum develops primarily around the collective memory of the city of Casablanca, though it took place also in other African and Arab cities such as Algiers, Sharjah and Nouakchott