Madrassa #2

aria partnered with L’Atelier de l’observatoire in the second edition of Madrassa, a programme of curatorial research and practice in contemporary art. Madrassa strives to educate and connect a community of young arts professionals through training and networking opportunities.

Madrassa supports innovative, independent curatorial practices that look beyond the dominant dynamics and modes of production, and seek to render art more accessible to all.

It explores socially engaged visual arts practices, promotes collaborative projects and rich transnational exchange, and offers a platform for experimentation to the region’s emerging curatorial talents.

The first edition of the programme was launched in 2015 by l’Atelier de l’Observatoire (Art and Research) in Casablanca. The second edition of the programme was conceived by L’Atelier de l’Observatoire, implemented with Spring Sessions, with the support of aria (artist residency in algiers) and MASS Alexandria.

Aa training session took place in Casablanca (25 – 29 September 2017) and included meetings, site visits, presentations and case studies led by regional and international curators and speakers. Followed by a ten-day curatorial residency in one of Madrassa’s partner institutions in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan or Morocco.

The training and residencies are specifically dedicated to alternative historiographical approaches that are being developed in North Africa and the Middle East through curatorial practices. In the specific context of the region, we will think and reflect on the essential role of contemporary exhibitions and curatorial essays and projects, in the important writing of narratives and histories of art and culture.

Download the full programme here.




Madrassa 2017 participating curators Salima El Aissaoui (Morocco) and Raafat Majzoub (Lebanon) will be respectively in residency in October 2017 and in December 2017.

Madrassa 2015 participating curator Nouha Ben Yebdri will be in residency in October and December 2017 under the mentorship of London-based curator Ali MacGilp.