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A Callout to Artists and Writers Visiting or Living in Morocco – Mouassim Festival Sidi Ali

Editors note: We support Artists and Writers Residencies throughout the world. In particular when they bring greater cultural understanding and awareness.  If you know of or participate in an artists or writers residency program anywhere in the world, please let us know about it!

By Jessica Stephens

Exploring Gnaoua RootsPeople of the pen!

A call out for artists has been launched by Moroccan based arts organization Culture Vultures to engage in an artist residency project around the Mousseem ( festival) Sidi Ali in January 2013. Novelists, song writers, poets, travel writers, and story tellers are encouraged to participate to be inspired and gain and insight into one side of traditional Moroccan culture. The mousseem, based in the north of Morocco, some 70 kilometers from Fez, starts on the birth of Mohammed prophet and hosts an Islamic pilgrimage parallel to embracing traditional Moroccan folklore.

Jess Stephens, a visual artist and cultural facilitator, has designed this week long full program after her profound and inspiring trip to Sidi Ali Mousseem last year. Music, ceremonies, trance and possession, slaughter and offerings to both the Saint Sidi Ali and spirits such as Aysha Ben Hamdouch are all part of the happenings.

The artists program , hosted in a quieter neighboring town of Moulay Idriss Zarhoune, not only facilitates both day and night time visits to the festival, but provides an insight into many of the rich elements through lectures, presentations and interviews. Academics, herbalists, alternative medicine doctors and musicians are all invited to join the table at some point during the week.

Six months after the project, in collaboration with the French Insititut in Fez, artists are invited to present their works in response to the Mousseem SidiAli.

For more information see http://culturevulturesfez.org/air-sidi-ali/

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