Interconnected in Culture for a Stronger Ecosystem

Getting Together Again, but Differently

by Nouha Ben Yebdri - Association MAHAL 12 / 4 / 2023

Getting Together Again, but Differently

Getting Together Again, but Differently summarizes the experience that we have had throughout the project we have been able to implement thanks to the Youth Led Initiatives grant, offered in the framework of All-Around Culture program, funded by the EU and implemented by l’Art Rue.

Hessi-Messi is a project that I have been thinking of since 2019, when I realized, after some years of experience as the founder and director Mahal Art Space, an independent art space dedicated to promoting contemporary art practices in Tangier (Morocco), that there was a huge lack of audience in a regular basis. Back then, we already had established a strong relationship with our main target, the emerging artists, most of them graduates from the National Fine Arts School of Tetouan. However, in order to achieve our main goal, it was crucial to have a bigger audience and work differently with word-of-mouth strategies.

After trying diverse approaches and tools, it was clear that bringing successful activities or programs from another context didn’t guarantee the same impact in Mahal’s environment and network. Being aware of this fact, and as creative workers, the best option was to embrace the challenge and use the process to overcome it as a tool to study how we were doing, and what needed to be adapted.

By doing so, we were able to keep the space active, have more opportunities to communicate and promote what we do and how we do it, collaborate with entities or projects that came with their whole ecosystem to share it with ours, and in parallel gather impressions, quantitative and qualitative feedback to reshape our way of doing and seeing. 

Throughout Hessi-Messi’s journey, and with the idea to explore and experiment mediation processes through diverse themes, methodologies and techniques, we have co-organized four exhibitions, with four different organizations, and as the core program of the project, we have offered 13 activities (workshops, screenings, visits, walks, gatherings) and reached out to almost 500 participants.

Photo credits 

Header image + image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 © Nawar Nasseh

Image 6 ©Ahmad Karmouni

Photo 7. Contre vents et marées exhibition installation and program on graphic design. Mahal Art Space. March 2023 @Anas Yamine

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